Ms. Yolanda Burnett is the program coordinator for JEVS Career Solutions for 55+, where she provides mature Philadelphia workers with professional job readiness workshops, one-on-one job coaching and advocacy.
For more information on how Ms. Burnett and JEVS can help you, register for our next free Information Session. Sessions are held every Friday at 11:00 AM. via Zoom videoconference. See our events page to RSVP for an upcoming session.
What is a Virtual Interview?
A virtual interview is an interview that takes place remotely via telephone and/or via technology, such as on-line communication tools like Zoom. Because of social distancing mandated by Covid-19, most hiring employers are using virtual platforms to communicate with job seekers.
Succeeding in a virtual interview requires special preparation. Below you will find 4 tips on how to set yourself up for a successful virtual interview.
How Do I Ace a Virtual Job Interview?
- Test your technology beforehand: You don’t want your prospective employer watching your mouth move while being unable to hear you. Allot 10 to 20 minutes before your interview to check your internet and video connection. Please ensure that your sound is working properly and that you are unmuted. You can also ask a friend to assist you in making sure that everything works.
- Wear professional attire: Just because an interview may take place remotely in the comfort of your home, please do not show-up with your house robe and rollers in your hair. The same effort is needed for a virtual interview as you would in a face to face interview. It is important to show the interviewer that you are serious about obtaining employment. If you are unsure about what you should wear, business casual usually works. For example, for men that means a clean white button-down shirt and blazer with slacks. And for women try a plain blouse with a casual jacket and/or sweater with a pair of pants or a skirt. Avoid ill-fitting clothing and please watch your neckline. That said, your top portion of your body will be mostly exposed. Therefore, you want to ensure that you are fully covered, well put together and wrinkle-free. Check out this video on “What not to wear on a virtual interview”>
- Limit distractions: There’s nothing worse than a noisy background during a virtual interview. A loud background is nothing more than a big distraction and will force the interviewer to cut the interview short. As a result, you will not be able to fully sell yourself. Choose a room that is quiet, neat and with minimum decoration, so the interviewer’s focus is on you and you only.
- Be authentic: You are not auditioning for a movie role. Be yourself! Show the employer that you are confident by taking your time to speak clearly, by having great posture and a cheerful yet relaxed facial expression. Make sure you are prepared with your resume on hand and be ready to sell yourself on an interview!
Got Social Security Questions?
The Social Security Administration is still available to help by phone, Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at: 1-800-325-0778. They may be able to schedule an appointment if they cannot help you by phone. Please do not come into one of their local offices as they cannot accept walk-in visitors at this time. Many services can be completed online so visit SSA.gov. For information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov.
I hope that you’ve found these tips to be enlightening and informative. If you have any questions, need support with your résumé, job leads and professional career coaching, please feel free to contact me about our free services (generously funded by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging–PCA):
Yolanda Burnett, Program Coordinator for JEVS Career Solutions for 55+
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ program understands that finding a job can be frustrating. However, we’re pleased to report that employers are hiring! Therefore, we encourage you to be patient, pace yourself and seek professional support. Also, continue to connect with positive people who are on the same journey as yourself.