First of all, hats off to you! You’ve made it to the interview stage of becoming a VA or virtual assistant. That alone is something you should be proud of, considering the competition between other applicants. But don’t be too complacent—you’re just on the tip of an iceberg.
Now that you’ve been invited for a virtual assistant interview, it’s time to prep things up. This can be done by studying virtual and phone interview questions most likely to be asked in your interview. And chances are high that the entire screening process will be done virtually.
Interviewers often choose candidates or applicants who are professionally suited for the position. But the problem is that making a great first impression is much more challenging than ever when it comes to virtual meetings and conferences.
One way to leave a positive first impression that lasts a lifetime is by showing off your excellent communication skills. Most people with exceptional public speaking skills often get hired instantly. Also, they can’t be easily replaced.
Having excellent communication skills is just among many things to prepare for prior to your interview. If you don’t know where to start, then you’re on the right page. This article will discuss some prep tips to nail your upcoming interview and be a successful VA.
1. Prepare Your Space
Yes, you can proceed with your interview just by wearing business attire on top and casual shorts on the bottom. However, you still need to work on creating your own ‘illusion’ inside that 9×16 glass monitor.
When dealing with virtual interviews, adding emotions and uniqueness to the conversation may not be easy to do. This is why you need to maximize and take advantage of your space and surroundings to produce and create a positive and long-lasting impression.
In addition, here are some things to do when setting up your space for the virtual interview:
- Check Your Lighting
During the interview, make sure to put a light in front of you so the recruiter can see you clearly. If the light comes from behind, you’ll become a freaky, shadow-like figure you often see in horror movies. In addition, it’s best to use cool light over warm because it produces a simple and brighter atmosphere.
- Create A Clean Background
This task doesn’t mean renovating your room completely. All you need to do is find the right spot—one that’s free from distractions such as a blank wall or one that has a few frames on it. If you can’t find a perfect spot in your room, you may use a virtual background instead. Most recruiters prefer office-style virtual backgrounds over mountains, forests, or even outer space.
- Check Your Internet Speed
Unstable internet speed is equal to unstable communication. For the best internet speed, ask other people connected to the internet to log out for a while during your interview. Also, when testing your internet speed, it’s the upload speed you want to check, not the download speed.
2. Get Yourself Ready For The Unexpected
Unlike physical interviews, virtual assistant interviews can be done in your sweet home. However, unwanted and unexpected events may still occur despite the familiar setting. That said, here are some simple tips that may help you prepare for such situations:
- Become A Platform Expert
Whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, it’s a good idea to master the platform to be used prior to your interview, especially if you haven’t used it before. Download the software and conduct a mock call with anyone you know to try out the app’s features and be familiar with it.
- Bring Your Notes But Don’t Look At Them Too Often
Recruiters often ask candidates about their most influential work. If that’s the case, you might want to take notes ahead of time. Keep it in bullet points so you can easily read and understand what you want to explain. But don’t set your eyes on them too often. It’s best to use them only as a reminder of the points you practiced beforehand.
- Keep Calm
If you’re stressed and overwhelmed at the moment, don’t hesitate to ask the interviewer for a couple of seconds to calm down and relax. Being calm during your interview is one factor in getting hired, so collect yourself and breathe easily before the virtual assistant interview begins.
3. Practice Ahead Of Time
Picking up some cues from voice tone, gestures, facial expressions, and body language is much easier when you communicate with someone in person. However, it might not be the case when it comes to virtual conversations. This is why it’s important to rehearse ahead of time so you can be used to some cues expressed during online interviews.
Here are some tips you can use when practicing:
- Check Your Speed
Avoid speaking too slow or too fast. Many recruiters suggest speaking around 115 words per minute. When you practice, set the timer to one minute and read a 115-word dialogue. If the timer reaches one minute and you’re not yet done reading, you might be speaking slower. Try to adjust your pace until you get it.
- Use Hand Gestures
Most successful candidates use hand gestures when discussing and elaborating their points. These basic hand movements allow the interviewer to connect with you. And when they do, they’ll probably trust whatever you’re trying to share with them.
- Set Your Eyes On The Webcam
Avoid looking at your own reflection during the interview as it’d prevent you from making eye contact with the interviewer—the key step in building connection and trust. You may also turn off the mirroring feature to avoid looking at yourself while speaking.
- Know The Basic Questions In Advance
This is one of the most important parts of your practice. It allows you to be prepared for the questions to be asked during the interview so you can be as confident as possible.
Questions may include:
- What is your area of expertise?
- How or why did you want to become a virtual assistant?
- Since when did you become a virtual assistant?
- What are the essential tools you’re capable of using?
- What are your preferred working hours?
- What’s your availability?
- What’s your preferred mode of communication?
- Why do you aim for this position?
Becoming a virtual assistant is a promising career that offers a good salary package and a balanced work-life. However, passing the interview to become a virtual assistant may not be easy. This is why it’s important to prepare yourself ahead of time so you can anticipate what will happen. Keep all the prep tips above in mind to increase your chances of acing the interview and becoming a full-time virtual assistant.