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FIVE TIPS TO ROCK YOUR VIRTUAL INTERVIEW

Original Article for Blue Cross NC By Mary Page Troxler
Woman on video chat on laptop

Getting ready for an interview when things were “normal” was stressful enough. What do I wear? Where will I park? What questions will they ask? Adding a global pandemic and video interview to the mix adds a whole other layer of anxiety to an already nerve-wracking situation. How’s my lighting? Is my background OK? Will my dog bark?

We get it, and we’re right there with you. Ninety-eight percent of our workforce is working remotely and will be for at least the rest of 2020. So, chances are your interviewer is probably hoping their child doesn’t pop in the frame during your interview, too.

Putting your best foot forward virtually doesn’t have to be as stress-inducing when you’re prepared for the big day. To help ease your nerves, get ready for your video interview with these five tips:

1. Test your technology beforehand

We have all experienced unexpected technical difficulties at the worst possible time. Make sure to check your connection before your interview. You should also make sure you’ve downloaded and created an account on whichever platform your interviewer is using. (At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we like to use Microsoft Teams). This can eliminate a last-minute scramble to get logged in and join the interview.

If you don’t have access to internet or need other accommodations, let your recruiter know. Our team is ready to work with candidates to remove barriers that could stand in the way of you landing your dream job with us!

2. Minimize distractions

Find a quiet, private place to take your interview call or have your video interview. We completely understand that life happens. Maybe a roommate or pet makes some noise, and we won’t judge you for that. However, we encourage you to do your best to step away and minimize unnecessary sounds.

You should choose a background that is free of distractions. You may even choose to blur your background or use a fake background image. A neutral background is a great bet. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s appropriate and allows you to shine. We won’t be evaluating your décor. We just want to hear about you and why you’re the best fit for the position.

3. In-person or virtual, dress professionally

Whether communicating through a screen or face-to-face, you should dress professionally for every interview. This doesn’t mean you need to have the perfect or most expensive outfit. Just put your best foot forward! Doing so helps you appear prepared and excited about the position. It will also make you feel more confident for your interview.

*Tip: If you are unsure what to wear to an interview, business attire is typical. A nice jacket will give you a polished look.

4. Prepare in advance

Even though you will be spending time talking about yourself and your own experiences, preparing in advance helps you communicate concisely and clearly. This means thinking through what you want to share about yourself and what you want to know about the company.

Thoughtful questions will help you determine if you can see yourself joining the organization. We typically ask behavioral interview questions. To learn more about how to prepare for those, read 7 Tips to Ace your Next Interview.

5. Communicate with your Interviewer or Scheduler

Wireless connections, pets, and family members can be unpredictable. Things happen – just let us know about them. At Blue Cross NC, we understand that during an interview, you might be balancing your education, personal life, and professional development in one space.

If your wireless connection struggles with video capability, we can work with that. If you live with multiple people and there is some background noise, we can work with that too. If you anticipate any challenges, make sure to keep us in the loop so that we can join you in being flexible and adaptable.

6. Most importantly, be yourself

In person, on the phone, or on camera, we want you to be yourself.

Interviews are just as much about you determining if you can see yourself somewhere as they are about being evaluated for a position by the company.

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