Tips for PR Graduates: Virtual Interview Best Practices

You searched for a job in PR, applied to a great opportunity online and guess what? You landed the interview! But, here’s the kicker: You’re here, they’re there. The interview has to be virtual.

How can you make sure you stand an equal chance to get the job offer as someone who can appear in person? Vanguard’s Ebonei White has a few tips:

  • Test the sound. Before you begin the interview, test the sound from your computer — including your speakers and microphone. Make sure that you log on early and check that it is working properly and at a comfortable volume level.
  • Set the scene. Once your camera is on, check how everything looks. Remove anything that could be considered inappropriate or distracting, like clutter on your desk or a TV in the background. Make sure that people cannot walk into your video frame accidently, as it could be distracting and viewed as unprofessional.
  • Position yourself. Make sure you are seated in an area that is not too bright and does not have a lot of distracting colors. Check the position of your computer camera so that it shows your face and upper torso. Make sure the camera is at eye level.
  • Dress for success. Wear what you would wear for an in-person interview—something that communicates professionalism and confidence and sends the message that you are ready for the workforce. Remember you will be interviewing through video, so avoid busy patterns and stripes and instead go for solid colors.
  • Make eye contact. Once the interview begins, look directly into the camera and avoid looking out of the frame. Looking away could create the impression that you aren’t interested and are easily distracted.
  • Practice makes perfect. Want to make sure things run smoothly? Try practicing with a friend to check sound, lighting and camera positioning. You want to be sure you know exactly what the people on the other end of the interview will see and hear.

The résumé was just the beginning of introducing who you are to your potential employer. Being prepared not just with good answers and questions, but also with good virtual interviewing skills will reaffirm your added value to their team.