your virtual interview


Even before the pandemic we had clients making offers to candidates they had never met in person.  Knocking your virtual interview out of the park is as critical as a no-longer-possible in-person interview.  Here are some NON run-of-the-mill tips for preparing for your virtual interview.


Candidates have become so comfortable with talking, recording and watching video, they are too casual in their preparation for a virtual job interview.  Our previous blog on Skype Interviewing from way back in 2016 (!) lists a number of ways to prepare the look of your virtual interview: professional account name, turn off other notifications, get the barking dog and children out of the house, how to light your face and center your camera and dressing professionally.

Stay Calm

A number of our clients have said they like it when technology presents a problem in the virtual interview.  They get to see how the candidate reacts to stress and often a technology mess they can’t do anything about.  Keep your cool, and if necessary, reschedule.  Zoom is so omnipresent now,  you should definitely do a trial run before having a Zoom interview.  You can sign up for a free account and schedule a meeting with just you.  It allows you to get your setting and lighting right, as well as practice sharing your screen, if it will be necessary in the interview.

Cheat Sheet

Our 2016 blog mentioned above talked about having your resume and a cheat sheet in front of you when you are virtual interviewing, but we can go one better than that now.  A candidate recommended taping the cheat sheet at eye level just behind your computer.  You will then be looking straight ahead instead of looking down.  It won’t seem like you are checking your notes but that you are covering necessary points effortlessly.  Remember, though, don’t read them verbatim!


When you do a video for Instagram or You Tube you are the star.  Don’t let your virtual interview fall into this trap.  You must continually be “reading” your interviewer(s) and “checking in” to see how they are responding, or not, to your side of the process.  The rules of in-person interviews still apply.  You want to get in a conversation with your interviewer, not a dry question and answer session.  If you see a tinge of concern on their face, address it.  “I don’t think I’ve answered your question to your satisfaction, where should I expand on my answer?  How can I do better?”  Even with technology in-between you and your interviewer, you should establish a rapport and a relationship.

While hiring through virtual interviewing existed before the pandemic, we believe the pandemic will accelerate and broaden the use of virtual interviewing alone to make hiring decisions.

The Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates are working hard while sheltering-at-home. Pharmaceutical Sales Practice Lead, Nancy Ragonese, would love to talk with you about your job search or any hiring need you have, [email protected].


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