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Career News | Aug. 16, 2021

8 Tips for Virtual or Phone Interviews

By DCAA Staff Writer

Interviewing virtually, either on a meeting platform or over the phone, may be an adjustment for those accustomed to face-to-face interviews. DCAA has used virtual interview strategies for several years, and will continue to do so in some cases, so it’s important to make sure you can showcase your skills in that setting. Here are some tried and tested tips for how to best prepare.

  1. Test your technology - Confirm ahead of time which platform you will be using, whether it will be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc. Take some time to ensure that the chosen platform runs smoothly on your computer and that your microphone and camera settings are up to date. You will want to take the interview from a location with a strong Wi-Fi connection to avoid unnecessary complications.
  2. Prepare ahead of time - Rehearse answers to potential questions you could be asked. This may include “What are your weaknesses?,” “Where do you see yourself in five years?,” or other similar questions. Try to make connections between your answer and the previous experiences listed on your resume or related anecdotal stories.
  3. Maintain professionalism - Treat this interview the same way you would treat an in-person interview. Dress professionally and avoid distracting behavior such as snacking on food or checking your phone. If on a video platform, try not to take the interview from a personal area (like your bedroom). If the interview platform allows it, you can simply change your virtual background to create a professional setting.
  4. Minimize distractions - Arrange to take your interview from a quiet area with limited distractions. Dedicate this time solely to your interview. If your computer is in front of you, close all unrelated tabs—including your email—to ensure focus.
  5. Control your body language - Body language goes a long way to communicate interest if interviewers can see you. Avoid slouching, drifting eyes, leaning on your hand, or fidgeting. Focus on actively engaging with the interview by maintaining eye contact or nodding appropriately.
  6. Be confident - Convey that you are confident in your abilities and the right person for the job through your tone of voice. Avoid filler words such as “like” and “um,” or anything else that makes you seem unprepared. Connect your answers to how you would handle your role if hired and show your value.
  7. Ask questions - Demonstrate that you have done your research by asking some questions yourself! This may include asking about the organization’s mission statement or what your role would look like. See our article Smart Questions to Ask in Your DCAA Interview for example questions.
  8. Follow up - A simple “thank you for your time” goes a long way. When following up with your interviewer, make sure to thank them for their consideration and inquire about the next steps in the process.

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