Students walk in front of Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Sonya DeBerry

As the economy reopens and the class of 2020 hunts for career opportunities, job interviews are in the future for most of us. But with some coronavirus restrictions still in place, job interviews are likely to be on Zoom or Skype, or by phone, rather than in person.

Naomi Shibley, career advisor at Mihaylo Career Services at Cal State Fullerton, provides five tips for preparing for and succeeding at virtual interviews.

  1. Do Your Research

Look at the company or organizational website, review sites such as Glassdoor, recent business news, and other sources to know more about the potential employer before your interview. Find out what they are known for, what their mission and vision is, and how they align with your values. It will help you answer the likely question, “What do you know about our company?”

Researching the position is also a must, so you know the specific job responsibilities and how you qualify.

  1. Practice

The chances that you will come off polished, articulate and knowledgeable are higher if you practice. In particular, be ready for common questions such as:

“Tell me about yourself?”

“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

“Why should we hire you?”

“Why do you want to work for us?”

  1. Do a Test Run

This is even more important than ever: You’ll not only need to be ready personally, but you’ll also need your technology to be ready, too. Secure your internet connection, sound, camera angle and background, ensuring that any interruptions or distractions will be avoided and that you’ll come off as professional as possible.

  1. Show Confidence

Before you interview, take time to assess your worth, recognizing what makes you unique and how your skills and experience relate to the position you’re applying for.

Project confidence in your interview by maintaining good posture, listening intently, having appropriate body language and smiling.

And be sure to dress the part! Just because you aren’t going to a white-collar office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appear just as professional. In fact, it might be more important than ever to show your professionalism, since the video chat may be the only view that your potential boss gets of you.

  1. Know Your Resources

Mock interviews with a Mihaylo career advisor enable you to practice your interviewing abilities and get step-by-step guidance and feedback from a career development expert.

Big Interview, an online tool combining training and practice to help you improve your technique and build your confidence, is also a great resource. You’ll find thousands of interview questions, with tips on how to answer them, and a video-based curriculum on all aspects of landing your dream job.

Make an appointment with a Mihaylo Career Services advisor. They are available and ready to help you with any aspect of your career journey. You may also call the center at 657-278-8738 or email for more information.