Candidate Resources

How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

May 18, 2021

For most people, preparing for an interview has always been a bit nerve-wracking. Job seekers now have a whole new level of stress to deal with — performing well in a virtual interview.

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, many companies transitioned to virtual interviews. According to Gartner, 86% of companies are utilizing virtual technology to interview potential job candidates.

If you’re not comfortable with video conferencing software, preparing for a virtual interview can feel like a huge challenge. At Forward Financing, a Boston-based fintech company, we’ve been holding virtual interviews for the past two years. Our Talent Acquisition and Hiring Teams shared their advice on preparing for an effective virtual interview.

1. Test out the technology first

One of the most important things you can do is to test out your technology ahead of time. Check your internet connectivity, and make sure your microphone and video camera are working properly.

If the image or audio quality is poor, you may want to buy a webcam with a built-in microphone. Also make sure you have the equipment already set up on the day of the interview.

If you seem to be struggling with the software, this may make you appear unprofessional. Finally, make sure you charge your laptop ahead of time so it doesn’t die halfway through the interview.

2. Find the right location

Spend some time thinking about the right location in your home to conduct the interview. If you already have a home office, this may be a natural choice.

But if not, look for a spot that’s clean and well-lit. It’s also a good idea to choose a spot that comes with minimal distractions.

You don’t want the interviewer to hear family members talking, a dog barking, or someone knocking at your door. Not only could this paint you in a negative light, it will make it harder for you to perform at your best.

3. Prepare ahead of time

You want to spend time preparing for a virtual interview just like you would for an in-person interview. Research the company and the role you’re applying for and be prepared to explain why you’re the best person for the job. If you’re interviewing with a leadership team member, their bio should be on the company’s website.

It’s also a good idea to write out a list of questions to ask the hiring manager. This shows them that you’re engaged, and it will help you discover if the position is the best fit for you. Make sure to have your resume printed out in case you need to reference it during the interview.

4. Dress for the part

You may be going through the interview process at home, but it’s still important to dress in business casual. When you dress professionally for an interview, it shows the hiring manager that you’re serious about the job. Plus, dressing like a professional will most likely help you feel more confident.

5. Follow up after the interview

Finally, you should follow up with the hiring manager after the interview is over. Send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview and thank them for taking the time to meet with you. If you connected over something in the interview then it’s okay to bring it up, but try to keep the email brief.

Don’t be discouraged if your first virtual interview doesn’t go the way you hoped. The skills you’re learning will benefit you going forward, and could help you land the next job that you apply for.

Looking for a new job at a Boston-based fintech? View all of our open opportunities here and learn more about our culture on our careers page.

Don’t find what you’re looking for just yet? Join our Talent Network to stay updated on what’s happening at Forward Financing and the upcoming open positions.