Best Virtual Interview Tips - This will Increase Your Chances of Being Hired Today
Updated: May 25, 2019
When I do project management with recruitment related tasks, I get to screen and interview a lot of Virtual Assistants (VAs) hopefuls and I would give you an idea of those people that attracts me and my clients the most and who does not.
I hope these virtual interview tips will provide you the needed edge over other applicants.
Usually, I don't give much value in the interview itself. I observe more on the first 2 weeks of on the job training.
But I would like to share some simple practical tips and ideas on how we screen candidates during the interview process. I hope this will help you gain confidence during interviews and so help you how to become a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Interview Tips
1. Genuine smile and excitement
And I really mean it, smile a lot throughout the interview.
I interviewed some people who look like they arrived like dead meat. No clear reaction at all. It's like they showed up on a Skype call with someone they broke-up a few years ago.
I would, to some extent, give some consideration to someone who is extremely nervous than someone who looks like Wednesday of Addam's family.
2. Read the job description and see the client’s website or LinkedIn prior to the interview
Understanding your client’s wants and type of industry will help you position yourself better during the interview.
Though it is best to do this prior to sending your application, I strongly encourage you to do this again before the interview.
3. Great lighting and best camera angle
It could probably just me but if the lighting is not that good, somehow it affects my decision making.
It also sometimes distract me if the camera is like at the bottom of the candidate’s nostrils or just at the side of his/her face. :)
Interviews are very crucial to build that rapport so better to have the best angle and have that eye to eye contact with your interviewer.
But of course, this is not the end all and be all of everything.
4. Have a private room and a desk during the interview
This surprises me a lot why some VA hopefuls would easily take this for granted.
I would see people walking in the background, terrible noise and lots of distractions.
Some I would notice are just sitting on a bed or their back was rested in a headboard.
Though online work is really not the typical interview you will do for a day job, there are rules that remain to be the basic rules for all industry.
5. Show up 15 minutes earlier
If the interview will be done via Skype, make your status online 15 minutes before and make sure that you are really in front of your computer.
This will give your interviewer some hint that you are well prepared.
If you are late, make sure that you will apologize for it and say your valid reason. I have encountered a lot of candidates who were 5 minutes late or more and the most they can say is 'Sorry, I'm late" with a poker face.
6. Don't use informal language
Even if the recruiter will give you a calm environment during the interview, be on that level of friendly conversation without losing your sense of professionalism.
I was interviewing this girl one time and I asked her about the status of her current job and she replied with, "Ah yun? Palipad na yun!" (Sorry I don't know how to translate this in English). And at the end of the interview when I asked if she thinks this job is really for her, she replied with "Go!".
7. Make sure you are at your house during the interview
One reason is that you need to make sure you have a good internet connection.
I have a few candidates that I was about to interview that I just found out they are in a car or in a mall.
If you are not available on a day and time given by the interviewer, don't hesitate to ask for another schedule.
8. Be prepared that it will be a video interview
Some jobs do not require a video interview. Some would just prefer text chat via Skype.
But if the client did not specifically say how it's going to be, just be prepared and assume that it will be via video chat.
Don't even ask because it will just give some idea to the client that you are frightful of that.
9. If there is any chance, highlight your leadership mindset
Even if the position you were being interviewed for does not require leadership skills, do not be afraid to give a hint to the interviewer about your caliber and how you can grow with the company.
10. Be honest
This is not really for the benefit of the recruiter but more of for your own benefit.
If you are totally honest in your responses to the questions asked of you, both of you will have a better sense of judgment if the job is right for you or not.
Have this in mind, interviews are done NOT just for the recruiter to judge if you are a fit for the work.
Fifty percent of the purpose of the interview is for you to tell if you really want the job or not. That will save you from bad reviews if the expectations are not meant at the end.
I asked, "What type of job interests you the most". The candidate replied with: "I enjoy voice-call related jobs..."
The other one I asked, "What kind of job will you most likely avoid". He replied with: "Jobs that do not challenge me a lot".
By the way, I was interviewing them for a simple data entry type of work.
So, be honest. It will save your career and it will make the recruiter's life easier. :)
Of course, you know that those kinds of responses will jeopardize your application. So, what I am saying here is that be genuinely interested in the job that you will pursue.
11. Be prepared with short stories to tell
Simple questions like "How are you today?" - don't just respond with "Great!".
Tell a short story about why it is great. Tell something about the weather or funny encounters you had on that day.
Be conversationalist. But of course, don’t tell a loooong story either.
I had this client who rejected one candidate even if the person was recommended by a top VA of ours. My client said the guy can’t handle a good conversation.
12. Avoid lengthy response
Get to the point of what you wanted to tell. A long story does not really give you a better chance of being hired.
Usually, when a candidate talks a lot, sometimes I barely can absorb everything he talks about. And I could tell that the candidate even forgot about my question.
The point here is to make sure what you need to highlight will get across the interviewer’s notes.
I suggest that you practice your responses on the most commonly used questions in interviews (i.e tell me something about yourself; what are your strengths, what skills do you have that makes you fit for this role...)
What I would like to add and share here are things that may be caught you off guard:
How are you? (Again, don’t respond with just “Great!”)
Have you visited my website? What can you say about it?
How do you think you can help me with my business?
Can you tell a situation where you did some initiatives in your work?
What interest you most about this role?
Do you have any questions?
Do not hesitate to ask questions especially if you were asked if you have any. At this point, the client would actually want to dive deeper into your way of thinking and your caliber as a candidate.
Focus more on questions that will make you understand better how you can be of help to the client. Questions like:
“How big would you like your business be in the next 3 years?"
“What kind of difficulty are you experiencing now in your current work process?”
This will tell the client how serious you are about the application.
It’s okay to ask small things such as “What tools do you currently use?”, “Is this job flexible?”, “How do you pay your freelancers?” but make sure to add questions that will make you stand out.
I know how could it be nerve-wracking when you are interviewed but have this in mind - Interviews are great opportunities to see if the job is fit for you.
Think of your virtual assistant service as a business who screen their potential clients.
Don’t always have the mindset that you are the only one who is scrutinized. Change your belief and your confidence will level up.
Does this help? What is your biggest question regarding virtual interviews? Share your thoughts by commenting below.