Work For Impact - Don't Just Work. Make an Impact.
Log in Join us

Killing it in a virtual Interview

So how do you ‘knock ‘em’ dead in the virtual interview room?

The zoomisphere and the Universe of Teams is a new reality for many. But for the remote freelancer, these ways of engaging with the world are second nature. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we find virtual interviews a breeze.

Interviews can be daunting and high-pressured events for even the most confident and self-assured freelancer. Pour all of that pressure and expectation into a potentially awkward screen-to-screen encounter without the simple human clues and cues we get when actually face-to-face with someone, and it gets all the harder.

So if virtual interviews are a fact of life for you, here are a few Work For Impact tips on how to be your Best Virtual Interview self.

The Foundations of Killing it.

Before we dive into our WFI PoV, it’s important to remind ourselves that all of our tips and insights are underwritten by two foundational and non-negotiable rules for the best Interview, technique, regardless of whether the room is virtual or otherwise:

  1. Do your homework
  2. Make space for great

With those two things in mind [we’ll loop back to those later], let’s take a deeper WFU dive into the world of the Virtual Interview.

At Work for Impact, we believe that we are all living in an increasingly dynamic, impactful and ethical world of work. So we thought it might be helpful to look at Virtual Interviewing and client expectations through that lens, to see if it sheds any useful light on ‘killing it’.

Dynamic – organisations are increasingly driven by a forensic, data-driven view of productivity and performance, and quite brutal financial imperatives. Value is everything in this dynamic world. Be clear on what dynamic traits, tools, expertise or experience the interviewer is expecting you to bring to the job. The answer may be in the job title or role description – but if you do some homework on the organisation or company, you might reveal some other things that your skills can play to that were not touched upon in the brief or task description.

Impactful – clients are increasingly using freelance talent to bolster and build out their existing employee resources, which means that doing the job is sometimes just half of it. As the ratio of fluid freelance to fixed employees increases, a desire for Values Aligned freelance talent moves up the client list of criteria, especially in more purposeful and mission-led companies. A little research will tell you whether your own values can be bought into the room to measurably increase your attractiveness to the client. 

Ethical – Never forget – interviews are a two-way street. Freelancers are increasingly as likely to ‘choose’ a client as a client is to choose them. The principles and values of the client business now play a far larger role in whether people want to work with them or not. Of course, if you just need to work, and you feel that the luxury of conscience is something for other people, at least try to make sure that you are clear about the contractual commitments and undertakings the client has made and make sure they stick to them as a matter of principle.

Bringing your best self.

So from a WFI perspective, try viewing every virtual interview through the triple lens of:

  • ‘Which dynamic You are you bringing into the virtual room?
  • ‘Which impactful You are you bringing into the virtual room?
  • ‘Which ethical You are you bringing into the virtual room?

It can help to give you a clearer sense of what you have to offer, your greater value and the confidence to bring what matters most to you into the room to the best effect.

Do your own Homework

Having said that, it is worth looping back on those critical foundations we mentioned earlier – starting with that homework thing. What do we mean by that, and what is the baseline – the least you should do – to prepare for not only having the best interview experience but also influencing its outcome.

The Client Brief – this may well be expansive and comprehensive – with far more than just the basic job role, contract length, hourly/day rate, core skills required, KPIs and process expectations. Even so, it’s your responsibility to your best self to do your own homework. At the least, check the website, check reviews, check their social threads and do some due diligence. Information and Insight is power in the room, whether you choose to use it or not. Also, check in to see if there are any freelancer reviews of them from the past or from other platforms. No one should be wholly led by others’ experiences, whether good or bad – but they can help you to make a more informed decision.   

Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

Making Space For Great

Homework apart, on the matter of making space for a great interview – and how you best prepare for one – makes a huge difference to how you enter the interview and the potential outcome of it.

Even in a screen-to-screen environment, if you are stressed, anxious, preoccupied, low or not feeling great, you will ‘wear it’ in the room. That’s not a great beginning. Making a first-lasting impression is as important in a virtual interview as it is in a real-world one. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Life happens. But if you know in advance when your interview is and can make space to clear your mind, shake off any stress, and be your most present self, it will pay dividends.

For example, ‘making space’ can mean:

  • A 20-minute yoga/stretch routine – this releases tension in the body and in the mind – regulating your breathing to centre you in the moment.
  • A Walk – 30 minutes walking, preferably amongst nature, can be a powerful mind clearer, allowing you to order your thoughts and declutter.
  • A Gym Visit or online Hit class – this allows you to decrease tension while filling up on all those power-surge endorphins.
  • A Music hit – figure out what music sets you up for your best self – and pack those tracks into a pre-interview ‘Eat My Talent’ Spotify playlist
  • A Joy-Stop – for some, ‘stillness’ is a perfect place to go to before an interview – like breathwork for the soul. Immersing yourself in a favourite book or just staring meditatively into space for 5 minutes beforehand can do an enormous amount to recalibrate you for the interview.

Killing it softly

Just one final note. If Killing it’ sounds quite ‘noisy,’ brash and too self-assured for you, don’t be put off! 

If a ‘killer interview instinct’ is not your style – that’s just fine. Some of us are naturally quite self-contained and introverted. This means that we are highly unlikely to spring Tigger-like into any room, let alone an Interview one.

If that’s you, and pre-interview nerves tend to get the better of you, try thinking of killing it in more nuanced terms.

To lighten the moment and release tension, try gamifying the task of interview prep by trying to define what killing it means for you and your character.

For example, are you all about:

  • The Big Kill – hyper-confident, self-assured all killer moves and ninja – watch out
  • The Stealth Kill – quiet, closed, cautious but deadly! Cat-like, predatory
  • The Cold Kill – hyper-rational, forensic – without sentiment – the cold eye
  • The Hot Kill – come in blazing – skills on fire & a heated urgency to get the job
  • The Mind Kill – find a killer fact or insight that will make you invaluable to them

Killing it in the Community

The Work For Impact Community is filled with talented purposeful people who’ve had to figure out how to play/survive/juggle/prevail/win/shine in the interview space. When in doubt perhaps asking the community can be the simplest way to prepare for a virtual interview.

How do you kill it in a virtual interview? Well, that’s totally up to you. Whatever that might be, good luck, and we’re here to help if we can.

Are you looking for meaningful job opportunities?

Join us at Work for Impact. From our dashboard, you’ll be able to take a look at our open job board and find your next purposeful project. To stay in the loop for new opportunities that match your skill set, create a Work for Impact freelancer account today and make your profile an eye-catcher for the hiring managers that look for talent on the platform every day.