How to Nail Virtual Interviews & Networking Events

Professional in a virtual meeting with colleagues/Getty Images

Photo shows professional in a virtual meeting with colleagues/Getty Images 

In a time when remote jobs have become nearly as commonplace as in-office roles, virtual networking is nothing new. 

In fact, according to a recent Zippia report, 40% of professionals network more online than in-person.

Even so, few professionals take their virtual networking efforts past connecting with colleagues on Linkedin, and 41% of respondents in the same study reported they would like to network more often. This is, in part, due to a lack of opportunity. 

Fortunately for those working in the life sciences, BioSpace’s Virtual Talent Connect on March 9 is the perfect opportunity for those who want to expand their networks.

A sort of virtual workplace speed-dating, Talent Connect gives both candidates and employers the chance to get to know one another one-on-one–an opportunity rarely afforded at typical career fairs or networking events with large crowds and myriad distractions. 

How to Nail Virtual Interviews & Networking Events

To make the most of this event and others like it, it’s best to go in prepared. Here’s what you can do to nail a virtual interview and get the most out of virtual networking events. 

Set Attainable Goals

Set clear networking goals before the event. These could include meeting a certain number of new people, learning more about a specific role or connecting with someone in a particular position.

These goals should serve as a motivator for you throughout the event rather than a source of stress. While you should do your best to meet the goals you set, keep in mind that your schedule will likely be built around the availability of the employers, so try to be flexible and keep an open mind.

Do Your Research

Before the event begins, take some time to research the event and understand its purpose and format. Look for information on the speakers, attendees and any scheduled sessions.

In the case of Talent Connect, take a look at the employers present and see if there are any you may be interested in speaking with. If so, research those companies’ open roles to see if there are any you could see yourself working in. 

After you’ve identified the roles you are most interested in, come up with several questions to ask each employer. These should be specific to the company or role. For example, you could ask about specific duties of the role that may not be listed or what a typical workday may look like for the candidate who fills the role. 

Update Your Online Presence

Before any type of interview or networking event, you should make sure your resume is fully up-to-date, as this will guide an employer's first impression of you and your abilities.

For virtual events, you can take this a step further. In addition to updating your resume, make sure your profile on LinkedIn and other job boards is completely up-to-date.

Additionally, check to see if you can make a profile for the specific event. This should be one of your top priorities leading up to the event to make it easier for employers to access your information and show them you are fully prepared. 

Practice Your Pitch

Before you speak to any recruiter, get comfortable talking about your experience and accomplishments. In addition to an elevator pitch–a brief and engaging introduction about yourself and your experience–make sure to prepare specific examples of each skill you choose to highlight. 

If an employer asked you why you are interested in a particular role, mention which aspects of the job description align most with your experience, and provide a brief real-world example of how you honed or used this skill in previous roles. 

For example, if the role calls for someone who is a team player, describe a time when you successfully worked with a team. Be sure to provide measurable evidence to prove the project or task was successful, such as data or statistics. 

Keep a Positive Attitude

Keep in mind that interviews and virtual networking events are a two-way street–it’s just as important for you to decide if a role is right for you as it is for the employer to decide if you’re the best fit. A job description can rarely give a complete and accurate description of each role, so going into each discussion with an open mind is critical. 

In the same vein, consider speaking to employers who don’t immediately spark your interest. There’s much more to job satisfaction than pay and benefits–often, the company’s culture and the style of leadership are what motivate employees the most. 

Follow Up

Regardless of how you feel about a conversation with a potential employer, make sure to follow up with everyone you can after you meet them. A simple email or message thanking them for their time and wishing them well goes further than you might think. 

Above all, know that networking is often a long-term investment that rarely offers instant gratification. One conversation now could lead to your dream job down the road, but only if you show up prepared and ready for anything. 

Back to news