A Talent Manager’s Advice to Virtual Interviewing Success

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If you have yet to participate in a virtual interview, just wait, it’s coming. And sooner then you may think. Nothing is more convenient for a talent or hiring manager than to chat with a potential candidate through tools such as Skype and Facetime. These and multiple other platforms, offer virtual meet-ups and save time for all involved. As a recruiter who connects with talent throughout the U.S., this is my go-to form of interviewing. Through the past few years, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes along with it. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you put your best foot forward for your next virtual interview.


1. Location! Location! Location!

It’s important that your surroundings represent you as an interviewee. The location you choose has the potential to establish how professional you come across to the interviewer. Choose an interview setting that has minimal distractions. Avoid locations such as a busy coffee shop, a windy park, or in your bedroom in front of your un-made bed. YIKES! Ideally, choose a spot in front of a non-cluttered wall or backdrop with good lighting and you’re all set.


2. Camera angle is everything!

This is the time to put your selfie knowledge to work. You’ll want to set up your device to show yourself either straight on or at a higher angle. No interviewer wants to see someone looking down at them or sitting too close/far from the screen. Rule of thumb, if you’re uncomfortable staring at the screen then your interviewer will be as well.


3. Save the gym clothes for your workout!

This will likely be the first time you are meeting each other and first impressions are important. Personal style is a huge focus for any fashion retailer and the same importance is placed in a virtual interview. You’ll want to make sure you are properly groomed, including wearing an outfit that reflects your commitment to being a true brand ambassador of the company you are interviewing with. So that means parting with your yoga pants and oversized tee for at least 30 minutes. You can do it!


4. Fly solo!

Just like you wouldn’t bring your dog, Oreo, or your 6 month old child to an in-person interview, don’t let them join your virtual one. Once, I was interviewing a potential candidate when her cat walked across the screen. She was extremely embarrassed, and it was an unnecessary distraction that could have been easily avoided. Everyone loves an adorable feline. Just keep them in a separate room for you interview!


5. Practice makes perfect!

Before hitting the accept button for your Facetime call with your potential boss, make sure you do a trial run to iron out any issues that might arise. As much as we rely on technology, there is no guarantee that it will work for you when you need it the most. It’s always a good idea to test your SKYPE or Facetime calls with a friend. That way you can fix anything beforehand for a smooth interview.

Happy interviewing!

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Jillian Prejean is the Talent Manager at Theory and Helmut Lang.