How to Navigate a Virtual Interview: Mary Beech, CEO of Sarah Flint

In the current climate, the way we work has suddenly changed, and accordingly, so has the way we interview. As we move to interacting more by video, I’ve compiled my advice for having a successful virtual conversation, be it with HR or your future boss. Though as always, in person and online, the most important tip is to be yourself! 

1. Find a quiet spot with minimal (or no) background noise. Use headphones if that will make it easier for you to hear, especially if you’re in a public space. 

2. Make sure your space is well-lit, since back-lighting will make you appear as a silhouette. You want an area with minimal visual distractions, which includes surrounding décor. Organize your desktop and any place that may appear onscreen, and double check that your phone is on silent. 

3. Wear the same outfit as you would for an in-person interview. Remember to sit up straight, smile, and maintain the same body language even if you’re just on your couch. 

4. Test out the platform and any equipment you’ll be using before the interview. You’ll want to make sure you have a strong internet connection and that you’ve downloaded all necessary plug-ins. 

5. Have electronic copies of your materials ready to be sent, be they resumes, cover letters, reference sheets, or writing samples. 

6. Take a pause between questions and answers, as it can be difficult over video to be clear on who is speaking. 

7. Ask specifically about the company culture. Since you won’t be in the office to organically pick up on those cues, you may have to be more up front in regards to the corporate atmosphere. 

8. Still send a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview. For an added touch (and if you really want the job!), send a handwritten note the next day. 

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