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Top 10 Virtual Interview Tips for Nurse Practitioners

Since 2020, the use of virtual, remote, or video interviews are now a normal part of the hiring process. So what does that mean for you as a nurse practitioner in search of your dream job?

Be prepared for both an in person and virtual interview. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this article you’ll have an arsenal of strategies to implement to get you closer to that coveted job offer.


1. Do a tech check

Because the interview is remote or with the use of technology, you must make sure your devices and connections are in proper working order. At least 1-2 days prior, you should attempt to log on with the device you intend to use. Make sure you download the correct software and install updates if needed. The camera and mic should also be tested. Additionally, if you’re using headphones (which is a great idea), make sure they’re properly connected.

Depending on the platform you’re using, your display name may show up with your picture. Choose an appropriate display name–your first and last name is generally a safe and professional combo. Lastly, you want to have a back up plan in case you need it. Have the interviewer’s phone number or email address ready in the event you lose connection or have technical difficulties.


2. Be prepared

You should be prepared to answer any questions that would take place in an in person interview. These include questions such as

  • Tell me about yourself

  • Why did you apply for this job?

  • Why should we hire you?


3. Be on time

While you would arrive early to an onsite interview, you should also be early to an online interview. Log on at least 5 minutes early without video and audio. Then 1-2 minutes prior, make sure to connect video and audio.

Being early allows you to destress and feel relaxed prior to starting; while arriving late to your virtual interview shows poor preparation and lack of interest in the role. So strive to get these easy points.


4. Be presentable and professional

Your attire in a remote interview is important. When you feel and look confident you perform better.

Presentation is a representation of preparation.

Be sure your video appearance is presentable. So if this means your top half is put together and you have make up, hair done, and a dressy top while you rock sweatpants and fuzzy slippers–more power to you.


5. Have good lighting and avoid distractions

Select a space that is well lit, quiet, and clutter free. If using natural light during the day, do a trial run 1-2 days prior around the same time of the interview. You should also look into your light source. Meaning that the window or ring light you’re using, should be in front of you when you look into the camera and not behind you. For backgrounds, a blank wall works well or very simple decor is ideal. The idea here is that you are the main feature in the video. Along the same lines, you want to keep any clutter—piles of dirty dishes or laundry—outside of the video frame. Your interview space should also be quiet. Notify those at home that you will be unavailable and need a specific time period free from interruptions.


6. Maintain eye contact

During a live face-to-face interview, you’re able to keep eye contact with your interviewer. However, during a virtual interview, this is harder to do because it’s natural for your eyes to be drawn to the screen. To maintain eye contact with your interviewer, you need to look into the camera lens. It’s a good idea to practice looking into the camera and also placing a post it note above your camera reminding you where to look. Another tip is to have your camera angle slightly high which gives a more social presence.


7. Be personable

Another important aspect of the virtual interview is to form a connection with your interviewer. At the initial meeting, smile. Be positive. Be ready for some neutral topic small talk. The key here is to be authentic. You may be nervous, but remember your interviewer may be nervous as well.


8. Display confidence

Being in the comfort of your home for an interview can be an advantage as you’re in a more relaxed setting. One thing to keep in mind though is the body language and posture that you’re displaying while on video. Practice maintaining sitting upright and engaging without fidgeting.


9. Have resources close by

Another advantage of having the video interview is that you can have your notes easily accessible for reference. While adequate preparation is key, it’s nice to have a cheat sheet on hand. This can include questions you want to ask or notes from questions you anticipate. Be careful that you’re not constantly looking at your notes which breaks eye contact and can be distracting. You should also have a pen, paper, and your resume handy.


10. Follow up promptly

Once your interview ends, stay top of mind by sending a thank you email within 24 hrs.Your message should include that you are thankful for their time. You also want to reiterate why you’re the ideal candidate for the role as well mention that you’re available to answer any additional questions.

With these 10 tactical tips, you are ready for a successful virtual interview.


About the Author

Josie Tate is a successful nurse practitioner, visionary nurse leader, and inspirational career mentor. She is the creator of Clincepts, a professional development resource that helps bridge the gap for nurses transitioning into advanced practice.

Nurse practitioners across the industry get and stay happily hired using strategies from Josie’s proven framework. At its core, Clincepts empowers and equips nurse practitioners to stand out, shine bright, and speak up as the best candidates for the job.

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