Virtual Interview tips and etiquette
As with everyone else I’ve been immensely bored during my time in quarantine especially because I had to self isolate for two weeks before lockdown happened. To combat this I’ve been applying to every job I could find but I haven’t had a lot of luck. However, I did get an email inviting me to a virtual interview for the position of Student Engagement Officer which I had previously applied for. I’m going to share my experience of this along with some tips for interviews in the hope that it will help some people navigate through our current strange new world.
How I prepared- As I normally do for an interview I read through the job notice and took note of the details that I might be asked about. I also got my sister to give me a mock interview with the job description as well as some random questions she found online to help me feel prepared. Another thing that I usually do is prepare 1 or two questions to ask at the end and do a little research into the position because this shows that you’re keen. Just like a normal interview I felt like it was important to show that I’d put in the effort by picking out something professional to wear and not just rolling straight out of bed and turning the call on. Try and replicate how you’d usually prepare because it’s not too different and your interviewers will still expect you to put the effort in.
I was interviewed by two people which presented some potential challenges in terms of lag and accidentally interrupting each other. I would say if you have the option, definitely disable your wifi and use your data instead because it’s far more reliable given networks are a bit overloaded at the moment. The benefit of having the interview via zoom or Microsoft teams (which was what we used) is that the environment you are in is more comfortable to you, you won’t have to shake any hands or awkwardly wait to be told to sit, you can be more natural. My interview actually ended up being quite conversational I think partially due to the strangeness of it all, we almost had to laugh about our situation.
The main thing I’d say for these interviews and all interviews for that matter is this is an opportunity to talk about yourself for half an hour, that’s an opportunity we aren’t given often. They’ve asked you to come along to the interview which means they’re actually interested in what you have to say and you can be sure of that, so let that give you some confidence. A lot of the questions I got asked were more informal queries about how philosophy students generally think and how people our age use social media, so it was evident there was a genuine interest. Due to this make sure especially in virtual interviews to be truthful, that’s what they want and not only that, they’re scrutinising your reactions because the main thing the interviewer can see is your face. If you start to look shifty then they will notice. If you’ve followed my advice and done the right prep then you have no need to make anything up because you already have the tools you need.
Hanging up- this is a little awkward I’ll admit. You don’t want to get in a: you hang up, no you hang up situation but I think it’s really important that you don’t look like you’re trying to make a hasty exit. I waited until at least one of my interviewers had hung up before I did because it just seemed more polite.
If anyone has any questions about interviews, the position itself or any general working at University queries then please comment away.