Digital interviews have become more prominent these days as the pandemic continues. In my opinion, digital interviews are great as it’s an extremely efficient and convenient method of interviewing.
I recently interviewed with a boutique management consulting firm in Toronto and went through six digital interviews (1 with HR and 5 with consultants). Talk about overkill. In the end, I managed to receive an offer, but I declined for personal reasons.
From this experience, I hope to provide you with some of my tips for success in your next interview!
The one benefit of interviewing with that boutique consulting firm was a well-rehearsed elevator speech. Going through so many interviews made me extremely comfortable with starting an interview and giving context to who I am.
An elevator speech should have two components – who you are and what brought you here today.
Breaking down my elevator speech,
- Who I am: I currently work at Deloitte as a Quantitative Analyst.
- Summary of my experience: I’ve worked in Quantitative Finance for the past three years in various industries, including life insurance, pensions, and risk management.
- What brought me here: I’m here today because I came across your posting for a Consulting role at “Company Name”, and with my experience in quantitative finance and passion for consulting, I believe I would be a great fit for “Company Name”.
Why does this work?
I’m quickly giving the interviewer an extremely high-level summary about myself and smoothly transitioning to any follow-up questions. Furthermore, the most common follow-up I’ve received is the interviewer asking me more questions about my resume or wanting to know more details about me.
Yes, I could have gone straight into my resume immediately. But I like to engage my interviewer to make the interview feel more like a conversation than an interview.
This question is the most common interview question I’ve received after interviewing with dozens of firms, and for good reason.
People tend to question your motives when you want something from them, and in this case, it’s the job. So, be sure to have a good reason for why you want to join the firm!
Some good examples are:
- If you’re a University student applying for a company creating software teaching math for kids, you can say you have a passion for math.
- If you work in investments for mining and apply for a role in financial institutions’ assets, you can describe your interests in investing but looking for a switch.
Without a doubt, there will be questions that come up in the interview about the job description and your skills. So, be sure to connect the dots between the two. If you can do this, you’re guaranteed the role!
You’ve proven that you’re competent for the role, so why wouldn’t they want to hire you?
Building rapport with your interviewer is a great way to make yourself stand out throughout the interview. It’s human nature for humans to want to talk about themselves. It makes them feel good about themselves that someone’s interested in hearing about their story.
So, researching your interviewer’s background and asking them how they got to where they are is a great way to build rapport.
Make sure your digital interview space is adequately lit. It will feel extremely awkward if you’re talking in the dark and your interviewer has trouble distinguishing your face.
Make sure your interview space is clean and proper.
Make sure your audio and webcam work. Additionally, I prefer to do my video interviews with AirPods or a pair of earbuds. It’s easier for my interviewer to see me, and it feels more casual than headphones. I’ve had some interviewers conduct interviews with headphones, but this shouldn’t be a big deal.
I’ve seen interviews be too casual in terms of appearance, so there’s no need to have a 3-piece suit. I personally wear a regular dress shirt, but I’ve seen other people go for a blazer as well. Your dress wear should be appropriate to the firm you’re applying for.
If you’re applying for a prestigious firm, then definitely wear a suit and tie, but for most firms, just wearing a dress shirt should be appropriate.
Bonus Tip: Have a glass of water to drink while you talk.
Ultimately, digital interviews and in-person interviews are incredibly similar. 80% of the interview is still getting to know your interviewer and the team! The only difference is your set-up. It’s straightforward to prepare for digital interviews, so be sure to have this under wraps.