Technology—it’s great…until it’s not. We use technology in virtually every aspect of our lives, and while we cannot imagine life without it, one thing is certain: occasionally, it will glitch. Interviewing is already stressful, and encountering a technology malfunction during a virtual interview can seem like a nightmare. But fear not! With adequate preparation, you can confidently and seamlessly recover from any tech mishap.

Common Virtual Interview Tech Issues

“Oops, I think you froze!” “Can you hear me? I can hear you; can you hear me now? Are you on mute?” Whether you use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Skype, odds are you’re well acquainted with these phrases. It’s one thing if a glitch happens in a meeting or while virtually socializing with family or friends. It’s another to have it happen in an interview. Some of the most common tech issues people face in virtual interviews are:

  1. Inability to connect to the interview platform
  2. The video works, but the audio does not
  3. The audio works, but the video does not
  4. Lagging or skipping due to poor network connection
  5. Frozen connection and/or disconnection

If you find yourself dealing with any of these scenarios in an interview, try not to stress. Instead, adapt, problem-solve, and communicate. That may sound like an impossible task during an already stressful situation, but keeping your emotions in check will allow you to think and act quickly.

Virtual Interview Prep

The best way to recover from a bad connection in a virtual interview is to prepare in advance. Just like preparing to answer and ask questions in an interview is critical, mitigating technology issues in advance and preparing for any potential glitches will set you up for success. Here are seven essential steps to do before every virtual interview:

  1. Update your technology: Make sure the software operating system, interview platform, and security of the device you’re using to interview, whether a laptop or desktop computer, are updated. Charge your device in advance and keep it plugged in throughout the interview.
  2. Test your system: Ensure you can access, open, and log in to the virtual interview platform. Check the microphone, camera, audio and visual quality, and headphones, if you’re using them, to confirm they all work adequately. Check that your network connection and Wi-Fi are operating properly.
  3. Practice with someone in advance: If you’ve already completed the first two steps, you may think you’re good to go. However, it’s always good to have someone else jump on a test meeting with you to confirm your video and audio work.
  4. Have the interviewer’s contact information on hand: If something goes wrong, you must be able to contact the interviewer directly and immediately. Be sure to have the interviewer’s phone number and email address accessible should you need to reach out and communicate the issues you’ve encountered.
  5. Familiarize yourself with basic tech troubleshooting: Solutions to the tech problems above can often be fairly simple to fix if you know where to look. To act quickly, familiarize yourself with basic troubleshooting as it relates to video conferencing and your specific device and network. Here are quick solutions to the tech problems listed above and more!
  6. Be early: It’s always good practice to arrive at an interview at least 10 minutes early. That goes for virtual interviews as well as in-person interviews. By logging in early, you can mitigate risks related to access to the platform, video, audio, network connection, etc., before the interviewer joins.
  7. Have a plan B: Prepare yourself to move the interview to a different virtual platform or even a phone interview if the problem cannot be resolved. Also, have a backup device prepped and ready to go, like a cell phone with a hot spot, if your primary device fails.

Cruising through a virtual interview with technology on its best behavior is the best-case scenario. However, technology mishaps are common. By preparing your tech, staying calm, and finding a quick solution, you can overcome any tech glitch and still have a positive interview. And maybe you’ll give the interviewer a real-life demonstration of your tech skills, how you problem solve, and your ability to communicate and handle high-pressure situations.

 

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