January 2, 2021
How to Prepare for a Virtual MMI Interview in 2021
This year, the interview process will be quite different, since students are going to be attending interviews remotely, rather than in-person. Most interviews this year are moving to an online format due to COVID-19. For some of you, these changes may be welcomed, as you no longer need to worry about making travel plans and accommodations to attend your interviews. However, others may feel more intimidated by this change due to the uncertainty of what to expect.
Here are the many different factors to consider while preparing for your virtual interviews:
It’s important to make sure that you have all of the technology you need to set up working prior to your interview. This includes having a suitable and reliable device, with a working camera and microphone.
Make sure your Wi-Fi is strong and works well in the area of your home where you intend to do your interview. Test different areas of your home to be sure you have chosen the best location where the connection is the strongest. If your environment is noisy, consider whether you need headphones with a built-in microphone to hear properly.
Your interview invite will include the required software you will need for your interview. Familiarize yourself with the software in advance, and be sure to have the most updated version.
Try to find a spot that’s quiet with little chance of disturbance, and be sure to notify those living with you of your upcoming interview in advance, and how important it is.
Be aware of your lighting and background. Ensure the lighting is optimal to avoid shadows or glare. It’s best to face a window if possible, as natural light will help the interviewer to see you more clearly. If there are no windows in the room, face towards a lamp.
Have a glass of water handy, as you will be expected to talk a lot. The last thing you would want is for your voice to falter and lose clarity due to a dry throat.
Just because the interview format is different, it doesn’t mean you should dress any differently than you would if the interview was in-person. Wear professional clothing (i.e. button-up shirts, blouses). It’s best to choose something that’s still comfortable to wear though, to avoid constantly having to readjust your shirt, or finding it difficult to focus on the interview due to your discomfort. Ensure you don’t only dress nicely on the top. Interviewers have been known to ask applicants to stand during virtual interviews. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to dress more formally rather than too casually.
Keep a reasonable distance between yourself and your webcam. Chest and shoulders should be visible, ideally with a small space between the top of your head and the screen. Make sure your webcam is at eye level, so you’re not looking too far up, or too far down.
It may be tempting to look at the video of your interviewer while answering questions, but the best tactic is actually looking into your webcam, as it will seem to the interviewer that you’re making eye contact with them.
Communication & Speech
Keep in mind there may be lags or glitches during video calls, so it’s important to speak slower than you would at an in-person interview to overcome these.
Nod and smile, while the interviewer is talking, to show that you take an interest and are listening to what they are saying. Avoid talking too soon, as you may end up interrupting the interviewer. Pause and take a breath before you start talking.
It may be tempting to prepare notes, or take notes. Don’t do it! You won’t be able to actively engage with your interviewer if you’re always glancing at your notes, and your answers will sound rehearsed and not genuine.
Practice makes perfect! Ask someone to join a video call with you using the same software the school will be using for the interview. Make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is good, and that you’re able to hear the person you’re practicing with, and they’re able the hear you.
Practice answering questions, and record your practice sessions. Analyze the sessions to determine areas that require improvement. Our expert advisors are highly experienced at conducting interview coaching and mock MMI interviews virtually. They will be able to give you constructive feedback how you performed on the questions, and can also offer you recommendations specific to the new online interview format.
Mock interviews in the virtual format are critical to assess your timing, cadence, structure and approach to MMI questions. Unlike an in-person MMI, the virtual MMI gives less wiggle room for errors in answer structure and flow because your body language, facial expressions and hand movements aren’t present to round out the overall impression. As a result, our MMI advisors strongly advise a comprehensive preparation program rooted in mock interviews. Mock interviews for the MMI enable you to test out different styles in a safe environment. Mock interviews allow you to make mistakes, learn from experts and adapt your approach to be successful. Questions about mock interviews? Contact Us
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