Virtual Interview Tips: How To Stand Out Among Other Job Candidates Over Video Chat

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Playing The Secret(s) To Nailing a Virtual Job Interview | Shark Tank Star Barbara Corcoran

Interviewing for a job looks very different in 2020. And while virtual interviews might seem simpler to prepare for, "Shark Tank" & "Business Unusual" podcast host Barbara Corcoran says you have to be just as prepared — if not more. 

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Question: "For 17 years, I worked for the same company as an executive assistant. I've recently just started my job search. As you know, we are living in a virtual world. How do you suggest I stand out and showcase my best self virtually?"
- Porsha, viewer

"The problem today is almost all the interviewing is done online," Barbara says, "which is a curse for everybody who's applying for a job." But don't worry, she shares her top tips for nailing a virtual interview and making a good first impression.

1. Find a Quiet Interview Spot

"I think number one, you have to have the right spot. You have to designate a quiet interview spot, and it doesn't need a lot. It needs a plain background and it needs a desktop or a tabletop, just so people see you in a work position on their first impression."

2. Dress For The Job

"You also have to dress sharp for the position you're applying to. Think, 'If I got the job, what would I wear to work?' and dress in that outfit right away."

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3. Learn About The Employer First

"You have to look up the employer online — and most employees skip this, and it's crazy — [and] learn a few things about it. Because it gives you conversational points as to how you tie into that business. It makes you feel comfortable and makes the interview so much more natural. [Say things like], 'I hear you opened an office in Phoenix, I hear you're going to this new space, I'm so excited about it.' It's very flattering to an employer to know that you've actually checked them out."

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4. Practice Answering The 3 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions

"The top three that you should practice in front of a video camera with the right lighting [are] ..."

  • Tell me about yourself.

"What the employer is trying to do is get a read on your personality. Make sure that every fact that you quickly give about your life ties into the position. It's an opportunity to sell yourself, so you have to be short, but tie your answers into some aspect that you suspect is going to be needed in the job."

  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

For strengths: "Lie, exaggerate! Be reasonable. But if you think you're organized, say you're very organized. If you think you get along with people, say, 'I always get along with people.' It's the time to shine, and that's what people really want to hear."

For weaknesses: "That's when you definitely lie. Name a harmless weakness, like, 'I can be really particular about detail.'"

  • Why do you want this job?

"You know why you want every job? It's because you want to work for that company. That's the safe answer. Say, 'I really want to work at your company, because I understand everybody here loves the work environment. I understand that people really enjoy each other. People get promoted.' Rattle off their own vanity mirror right back at them. Because even though they're asking why you want the job, you want to tie yourself to why you're suitable for them. That's the only valid answer."

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