Since the onset of the pandemic, virtual interviews have become a standard in the job search process. While they’re both easy to schedule and cost-effective for both parties, there are different sets of challenges in putting your best face forward via zoom compared to an in-person interview.
Our brilliant and experienced consultants compiled a checklist of best practices and tips to ensure you’re confident and prepared to stand out among your peers:
- Identify an area for your interview. This should be a neutral area free of visual clutter, distractions, and noises. It should also have good lighting (indirect, front natural light is best) so your prospective employers can see you clearly. Don’t forget to consider your background: Is there very colorful art behind you or the chance for a pet or person to walk through the background? Ensure nothing will compete with your presence during the call. Put your phone on silent mode!
- Test and charge your equipment ahead of time. This includes the software, microphones, webcams, and your computer or mobile device. Keep hardware plugged in so there’s no chance of losing connection in the middle of the interview.
- Connect on time. Check your Wi-Fi and log-in instructions early to ensure you’re online, have a meeting link, and that you don’t cause a delay in the start time. Bonus prep: have an email draft on your phone ready just in case you need to inform your interviewer that you’ve been disconnected or if your internet is down.
- Dress the part. Wear the same attire you’d select for an on-site interview. Yes, that includes formal pants and shoes.
- Show genuine enthusiasm! Bring the same level of energy you would have in-person to your online interview. Visualize what it would feel like to get the job and hone in on that excitement.
- Make eye contact, have good posture. Even if you are new to virtual interviews you can still demonstrate strong communication skills by being engaged the entire meeting and by ensuring your face and shoulders stay centered in the video. Remember to minimize chair spinning, filler words, or fidgeting. Look into the camera and not at the screen when talking. Using occasional non-verbal responses while the interviewer is speaking, such as nods, shows that you’re listening intently and engaged in the conversation.
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- Verify that your interviewer has an up-to-date copy of your CV. Have a copy of your CV at your fingertips. Review it prior to the meeting and have it handy to reference when your prospective employer asks questions.
- Prepare good questions. Know who you’re interviewing with beforehand (name, title, etc.), so you can ask relevant, thoughtful questions. Good questions are open-ended and allow you to discover if this opportunity is a good mutual fit. Bonus points if they allow you to highlight special skills and training you have and/or how your commitment to medicine aligns with the mission and goals of the practice. Prepare to answer both behavioral questions (past experiences, actions you took, and the outcome) and situational questions (actions you would take in a hypothetical circumstance, why, and your expected result.) Remember that for behavioral questions, you should never mention names or provide enough details that could identify a patient or colleague, especially if you’re referencing a negative interaction.
- Do a trial run. Set up a mock interview with a friend and record it to see if there are any unconscious mannerisms you should avoid during the interview.
- Have a backup plan. Make sure you exchange numbers with your potential employer prior to your meeting in case you need to connect via phone should technical difficulties occur.
Good luck and remember that regardless of the outcome, every interview is a great professional learning experience.
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