5 tips to ace your virtual internship interview
Internship interviews are akin to trying to get ‘bak kwa’ (Chinese pork jerky) during Lunar New Year period. They are difficult and competitive to secure. As such, landing yourself one during this tough period is tremendously prized. However, to secure the internship, you would have to go through the invaluable interview with the hiring manager. The last thing you want is to mess that up.
With millions of companies worldwide transitioning to working remotely, it is never too late to prepare for a potential virtual interview. This whole concept of a virtual interview might still be foreign to many. From speaking to a laptop to picking up non-verbal cues from your interviewer on the other side of the screen, it can be tough. Other than being prepared for the interview itself , we hope that these 5 tips could help you leave a longer lasting impression on your interviewer during your virtual internship interview experience.
1. Log In Early and Check Thrice
The least we can do is to be punctual for the virtual interview since commuting times have been reduced. Log in and enter the call early. Before the interview commences, ensure everything – from your devices to your internet connection, microphone and video functions – are working exceptionally well. (Tip: Test call a friend before the interview to ensure everything is up and running.) You wouldn’t want for your screen to glitch or even hang, leaving your interviewer staring at your face on a frozen screen. It’s the worst if it happens right at the moment when you are mentioning your main selling points!
2. Isolate yourself
Have your interview conducted in a safe and isolated place where you are free from environmental distractions. The best option would be to host the virtual interview at home. You’ll be able to remove your face mask for greater engagement with the interviewer. Next, centralise yourself on the video screen. Moreover, ensure that your background is of a professional setting. This can be as easy as setting up a simple plain white background for your video call and ensuring good lighting. If possible, reduce the level of noise disturbances to prevent interference and distractions. Nonetheless, if those noise distractions are outside of your control, do seek for the interviewer’s understanding.
3. Enthusiasm for rapport
With no more small talk upon reaching the office, nor can we exchange any firm handshakes with our interviewers, the tone of our voices and our visible on-screen body languages are more important than ever in building rapport. Having interviews virtually in our safe spaces may result in us unknowingly slouching and fidgeting. Our body language should be monitored very closely. Thus, maintaining a good posture and constant eye contact with the front camera is critical in expressing our sincerity and interest in the job. Also, infuse that tinge of excitement and enthusiasm in your tone of voice to keep the conversation light-hearted. It helps with fostering a connection with the interviewer as well.
4. Leave a short gap before answering the questions
You’ll never know if there will be hiccups along the virtual interview. You won’t know if you and your interviewer are on the same frequency either (no pun intended). Sometimes it’s also hard to gauge if they are done asking their questions. By having a short pause before answering the interviewer’s questions, it prevents you from interrupting them as they speak to finish their sentences. Concurrently, you are providing them with some time to wrap up their questions and prepare to take notes regarding your responses. More importantly, the short pause gives you some time to think, phrase and refine your answers.
5. Keep your answers short and sweet
Regardless of any format of the interview, keeping your responses succinct is important but more so during virtual interviews. It helps interviewers stay engaged especially since meetings over virtual platforms can be hard to follow, and given our limited attention span of less than a goldfish’s. Get your point across to the interviewers succinctly and confidently, This shows that you are prepared, confident and clear about your strengths and thought processes.
With all the aforementioned tips coupled with sufficient preparation and rehearsing (check out MatcHub’s bot to rehearse common questions), I believe that you are able to get your hands on your favourite ‘bak kwa’! Your virtual interview experience will be nothing short of exemplary!