Virtual interviews have always been an advantageous way to interview for allied health travel contracts or permanent placement positions in other states. But now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the go-to screening method for most healthcare providers seeking to fill any job opening, not just those at a distance.
It can be a little daunting figuring out how to make an impact in a virtual interview if you’ve never experienced one before. But don’t worry – we’ve put together our best advice to make sure your upcoming virtual healthcare interview is a slam dunk!
Every success is the result of adequate preparation. The same goes for an interview—whether it’s in person or virtual. So, you must prepare just as you would for any interview.
Review your resume, and make sure you can speak to your accomplishments. It may even be helpful to practice talking aloud in front of the mirror, or with a friend, about your work achievements. Become comfortable talking about yourself, your experiences with patient care, and the details of your professional accolades in the medical field so, when asked, you’ll be able to converse with ease.
Interviews are also a time to showcase your soft skills—things that may not be expressly identified on your resume. Are you a gifted communicator? Are you proud of your work ethic? Do you generally have a positive demeanor? The virtual interview is your time to highlight these traits. Healthcare hiring managers want to know more than what you can do as a professional, they want to know who you are as a person.
And, although your interview is via a computer screen, it’s still important to make a good impression with your appearance. Consider what you wear. You may not need to be in a suit but resist the urge to be too casual in a virtual interview. Pick out a nice shirt, make sure you’re well-groomed, and select simple jewelry so you don’t distract your interviewer.
Arrange Your Space
Next, you’ll want to set the space for your interview. In a traditional interview, the setting is up to the employer. But in a virtual interview, you’re responsible for your environment, and that environment is a reflection of you as a person.
Pick a quiet location free from distractions for you as well as your interviewer. Close nearby windows and turn off any surrounding noise coming from a television, speaker, or fan. It’s also wise for your interview space to be away from pets or children when possible to avoid interruptions.
Consider the background of where you’ll be sitting, whether it’s a wall, a bookshelf, or an open area of your home. Again, try to eliminate distractions and ensure that everything behind you is appropriate and a positive reflection of yourself.
Test Your Technology
Familiarizing yourself with the technology you’ll be using for the virtual interview and testing it out in advance is imperative for your success. Don’t wait until the last minute to ensure your computer audio and video is working properly.
Schedule a call with a friend or family member ahead of time to test your devices. If your interview is being conducted over Zoom, rather than scheduling a call with a friend, you can join a test meeting to make sure you’re up and running successfully!
While you’re on your test call, take note of how your attire and your space appears on the screen and make any necessary adjustments. This is your opportunity to see yourself exactly how the interviewer will see you during your meeting.
One last thing about technology: Make sure your visible screen name or login ID is professional. You want your actual name to appear, not “#1BabyYodaFan”.
Make It Happen
You’ve prepared, arranged your space, and tested your technology, so now it’s time to make it happen. Give yourself time to relax immediately before your scheduled time so you can clear any clutter from your mind and focus on putting your best foot forward.
A benefit to interviewing virtually is the ability to have notes nearby. Jot down examples of how you’ve worked with patients in the past, experiences that have shaped you as a nurse, therapist, or allied health professional. You can have your resume and a list of questions on your computer screen or printed off to the side to discreetly reference if needed. So, while you’ve prepared, it’s nice to have a point of reference at hand should you need to reorient yourself at any point during the interview.
And finally, remember to smile. When you smile, your tone changes and interviewers can hear and see your enthusiasm. Let your personality shine through the screen.