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Recruiters Share Top Tips to Nail Your Virtual Interview

Careers AdviceGraduate JobsTips and Advice

The world of candidate assessment has changed immeasurably in 2021, with 71% of interviews and assessment centres moving online (Source: ISE). Competition for placements, internships and graduate jobs is at an all-time high, so how do you stand out, nail the interview and get the job in the virtual world? Who better to ask than our clients?

Discover like never before the insider views shared here by some amazing employers, interviewers and assessors who want you to succeed.  Here are their top tips for success in the new, digital landscape:

“An easy tip to use the scenario to your advantage is to feature post it notes around the circumference of your screen as prompts for information. However, do this sparingly as interviewers will notice your eyes wandering and reading longer passages of text.“ 
Craig - Senior Graduate Recruiter - Global Banking & Markets – HSBC

“Treat it like a face to face interview/assessment- dress the part to feel professional.“
Gemma - Early Careers Leader - Europe at GE Aviation 

“Test your internet connection and set it up thoroughly beforehand. Have the contact details of the assessor/recruiter within reach in case something goes wrong.  Don’t panic if 'the worst' happens, you may not be able to control a technical issue but you can control how you respond to it.”
Natasha - Recruitment Advisor - Christie's 

“Definitely do a trial run, and watch how you perform. Then flip the process, what did you do right, wrong, would you hire this person, how did you come across, how was your tone?”
Umaad Hussain - Talent Acquisition Manager - EMEA - ISG 

“Log in five mins early. It’s the equivalent of turning up to a face to face interview early. “
Nik - Global Internal Recruitment Manager – Panserve  

“Rapport can be challenging, as it is normally quite an abrupt entrance with both parties ‘appearing’ in the interview room. For me, the non-verbal is even more critical, we see far less articulation with hands on video interviews, whereas I actively encourage it. Cheesy as it sounds, a smile goes a long way to break down that initial barrier.”
Graeme - Talent Acquisition - Enterprise Rent A Car

“Be sociable.  The handshake and 'how was your journey in' openers have been deemed null and void so think ahead of easy, social chatter that will get you through the first five minutes.“
Grace - Head of Human Resources - Wiggin


“For us, likeability is a crucial part of our cultural fit and pivotal for client facing roles.  The candidates who shine are the ones who understand that you need to project a great representation of yourself. This can be more of a challenge virtually but remember the simple things like eye contact and smiling. Place your camera centrally.  Don’t have it off to one side.  Equally, make sure you stay engaged throughout the entire process.”
Nicki - HR and Office Manager – Microsoft Certified Partner

“One question that you should be prepared for currently in interview is how you responded in adversity.  Employers in the current market need reassurance that future talent can show maturity during times of constant change.  Everyone wants talent that can adapt and show initiative, not flounder.“
Francesca - HR Business Partner – Pelican Procurement Services

“I am seeing quality candidates fall down for a simple lack of contribution to group tasks at assessment centre. What I recommend is don't be afraid to be the one to start the conversation, be the person to introduce yourself and go around and check everyone else on the video call knows each other's names. It is less about the task but about the team dynamic. First impressions seem to count even more in the virtual format assessment centres.” 
Sam – Talent Acquisition Professional – US Tech Giant

Dan Hawes is the Co-Founder of the GRB Group. He hopes to enlighten students, graduates and employers with his wisdom from over 20 years in the industry!

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