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Virtual Job Interview Success: How to Present Your Best Self as a Person with a Disability 

With the existence of technology, online interviews have become increasingly popular, especially for companies hiring people outside of their geographical area.  

The option of having virtual interviews widens the talent pool of companies and removes the challenges of going to the workplace, giving everyone equal chances of getting hired. This makes virtual interviews crucial in getting hired  

We’re here to help you achieve that success and prepare you for your next virtual interview. 

Things to Do Before, During, and After Your Virtual Interview 

Virtual job interviews may be similar to traditional ones to some extent, like wearing professional clothing that you would wear to an in-person interview or keeping a copy of your resume during the interview.  

But there are extra preparations that you should consider when doing virtual interviews. Here are some steps you should take, along with the best practices to consider before, during, and after the interview process. 

Before the Interview 

Here are the things you should do before the interview.  

1. Learn About the Company 

It’s essential to enter an interview fully prepared. As soon as your interview is confirmed, find out more about the company you want to join. Review the company’s website, history, mission, and vision.  

  • What is their purpose?  
  • What are their recent achievements? 
  • Do their values align with yours? 

Having a bit of knowledge about the organization you want to join will help you stand out among the rest. It will show how dedicated and passionate you are about joining the company.¹ Aside from increasing your chances of being hired, think of this step as your way to determine if the company is a good fit for you. 

2. Research Potential Roles and Responsibilities 

Jot down the role you want and other positions you can fill as secondary options. Once you have your list, do further research.  

Aside from the job description, find out other responsibilities the job entails. You can do this by searching for similar roles in different industries or companies over the internet. You can also ask someone related to the role of their daily tasks. This will give you more detailed information about the job you’re interviewing for. 

After looking at the responsibilities, check if these are compatible with you. Ask yourself if you can complete the core job functions without any accommodation. If you can, you are fit for the job and already know you can perform the tasks.  

Aside from that, you can also use the information you learn through research to make yourself more qualified for the role. You can enroll in certificate programs to make you a more competitive candidate.  

3. Prepare Your Equipment, Surroundings, and Yourself 

Before a virtual job interview, ensure the equipment you will be using works to avoid any unexpected scenarios. Unlike traditional interviews, technology plays a considerable role in virtual job interviews. 

  • Check if your camera is working. Position it at eye level so it’s easier for you to make eye contact. 
  • Test your headphones. Make sure both you and the interviewer can hear each other.  
  • Check the speed and stability of your internet connection.  
  • Prepare a backup internet source in case your primary one disconnects. 
  • Prepare a professional background and go to a quiet place with minimal or no distractions. 
  • Login to the interview early. It’s better to be earlier than the interviewer than to be late. 

During the Interview 

Here are the things you should do during the interview. 

1. Practice Effective Communication 

The best way to show your competency during an interview is by expressing yourself naturally in the conversation. 

According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 93 percent of employers seek candidates who can think critically, solve complex problems, and communicate solutions with clarity.² 

Regardless of the position you are eyeing, be confident in sharing your answers and opinions. Remember to do these three things: 

Speak With a Loud and Clear Voice 

Remember that your microphone only transmits sounds and doesn’t improve it in any way. If you want the interviewer to hear you clearly, you need to speak that way from the beginning. 

Make Eye Contact 

An online meeting tends to feel less personal than a face-to-face interview. To make yourself more engaging, try to establish consistent eye contact by looking directly at the camera, especially when speaking. 

Use Proper Gestures and Facial Expressions 

What the interviewer can see is limited to what’s in front of your camera. Establish rapport with the hiring manager by using gestures like nodding or making facial expressions to prove that you are attentive and focused on the conversation. 

Read More: 5 Helpful Interview Tips for Job Seekers 

2. Highlight the Skills You Can Offer 

Instead of focusing on your disability, lean on your skills and explain why you fit the job. 

If you have an apparent disability, be upfront about it and disclose which accommodation or assistive technologies you will utilize to complete your job during the interview. It shows hiring managers that you are prepared for the position and that you know how to handle your condition. 

Read More: Interview Confidence Tips for Workers with Disabilities 

3. Stay Open-Minded 

Think positively. Avoid assuming that accommodation will not be made for you if it’s not initially offered. It’s possible that the company you want to join simply doesn’t have enough knowledge of how to meet your needs, which is why it is beneficial to be prepared to speak about the accommodations or assistive technologies you will need. 

You know what accommodation you need, so don’t be afraid to discuss them with the interviewer. If you feel comfortable openly discussing your support needs with the hiring manager, you can. Or you can wait to request accommodation until after a job offer has been extended to you. 

After the Interview 

Here are the things you should do after the interview. 

1. Inquire About the Things You Want to Know About the Company 

At the end of interviews, hiring managers usually ask if you have any questions. Take this chance to show your initiative and interest. 

Don’t ask about things that a yes or a no can quickly answer. Also, avoid the ones that can be answered by a simple search online. 

Inquire about things that are thoughtful and relevant. Use them to clarify any unclear information or learn more about the company and its operations. Here are some things you can ask: 

  • What are the challenges that I may face if chosen for the position? 
  • What qualities are you looking for in an ideal candidate? 
  • How do you describe the overall working culture or environment inside the company?³ 

2. End the Meeting With Appreciation 

Don’t leave the call immediately after the interviewer has answered your inquiries. Remain polite and respectful until the very end. 

Remember that you are not the only one who dedicated their time and effort to conducting the virtual interview. Regardless of how well you think you did, it’s always good to show some appreciation or gratitude for the time given to you.  

You may also consider asking what the next steps would be and when they can return with the feedback so that you can prepare. It also shows how interested you are in the role. 

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A COMPANY THAT CAN CHAMPION YOUR NEEDS IN FINDING THE RIGHT ROLE? 

Here at Galt, we work hard to match motivated and skillful employees to great organizations. If you need help finding the right company in need of your talent, you are in the right place!   

Start a conversation with us today. 

References: 

  1. Career Insights. “Have an Interview? 6 Reasons Why Research Is Key” Post University, 4 Jan. 2021, https://post.edu/blog/have-an-interview-6-reasons-why-research-is-key/ 
  2. Moore, Kaleigh. “Study: 73% of Employers Want Candidates With This Skill” Inc., April 2023 https://www.inc.com/kaleigh-moore/study-73-of-employers-want-candidates-with-this-skill.html 
  3. Birt, James. “10 Questions To Ask After an Interview” Indeed, 4 Oct. 2022, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/questions-after-interview 

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Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.