How to Land and Ace a Virtual Interview


a working from home office space with a medium brown wooden desk, a green velvet chair, desk lamp, a plant, and work laptop.

You have found yourself looking for a job during a global pandemic and, subsequently, a job recession. That feeling can be overwhelming even without the added anxiety of COVID-19 looming over your head. Thankfully, some organizations are starting to see the positive sides of remote-work and conducting fully virtual interviews.

Before this year, you may have never participated in a fully virtual interview process. That's okay! Many hiring managers haven't either. Many interview tips are the same, but 2020 has added some additional “rules” to follow in order to have a great interview process.

1) Learn to Pivot

There are a million reasons to be looking for a new role in 2020. You could be a recent grad, just laid-off, or honestly just looking for something new (an equally valid reason). Your preferred industry may have changed due to COVID-19, and while your dreams are still valid, learning to pivot will be helpful. A little snag means you can open yourself up to jobs that you have never thought of before. You may surprise yourself with what you find when you're more open with your search terms. Apply for anything that sparks joy!

2) Check your Resume Every Day

Do you ever send out a resume only to find a small mistake on it two days later? If you answered no, then you might have superpowers. While applying for jobs, you should read your resume every day, and every time you submit it for a job. While it is a well-known tip to tailor your resume for the job you're applying to, you should also reach out to friends (or LinkedIn connections) who have a role in the industry you're applying to. They will most likely help you format your resume to match that industry’s needs.

3) Use LinkedIn Daily

Add it to your nightly and morning social line-up. New jobs, interview tips, and strong connections are constantly being circulated on the site. LinkedIn is also a great place to reach out to thank someone for an interview if you can't find their email address.

4) Reach Out to Recruiters

Whether it’s an agency recruiter or a corporate recruiter, they want to talk to you as much as you want to land a job. Use LinkedIn to find company recruiters or agencies in your area. Be honest with your job expectations, and be open to learning about the open positions they currently have.

5) Create an Online Presence

With everything being online, this is a great time to audit your online persona. Do you have an up-to-date website or active social accounts? What pops-up when you Google your name? If you're applying for a job that requires examples of your work, then investing in a great website portfolio is essential!

6) Set-Up a Great Interview Space

There are multiple ways to add value to your virtual interview presence. Here are some big ones:

  • Make sure you have stable Wi-Fi or a working mobile hotspot.
  • Check that your microphone and web camera are working.
  • Scope out great lighting (i.e.: have your body face a window).
  • Hide your picture icon on the call to help you focus on the interviewer and not your own face.
  • Dress to impress. You should still fully dress-up despite the interview being virtual. It will help you get into the right mind frame.

Be honest and up-front if you do not have the tools needed to conduct a virtual interview. Let the company know if you need to use your phone versus a computer. A great company will not knock you down because you don’t have a computer to interview with.

7) Lastly, Be Patient and Kind

If we're being honest, everyone is dealing with new struggles in the year 2020. The entire world has encountered a learning curve, and we are reimagining what it means to work a 9-to-5 or interview new candidates. Search for a company that is open about their new expectations and be open with yours too!

One last note: Our recruiter, Sarah Yi, says to follow-up within 24-hours of the interview. Remember to send a thank you email because this provides you the opportunity to resell yourself, express your interest in the role/company, and share any last-minute points you forgot to mention during the interview.