How to Ace Your Virtual Interview

NATIVE CONTENT | Brought to you by: Provider Solutions & Development


How to Ace Your Virtual Interview

Story 1 - PSD

As part of the new COVID-19 reality, clinicians across the country are taking jobs in cities they’ve never visited, from people they’ve never met face-to-face. Read one provider’s story, and check out these tips on how to approach your online interview with confidence.

From Kenya to Washington

Cyrus Ombaire has been working as a Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner at a small Arizona clinic for the last two years. He wanted to join a larger organization where he could elevate his career and be closer to his brother, who lives in Canada.

The Providence health system in Washington seemed like a good fit, and he applied for a GI NP position at St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington. He’d never been to Walla Walla, but it looked pretty online, and he was attracted to its moderate temperatures, small-town community and mountain biking trails. After a series of phone screens and virtual interviews, he was offered the job.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Cyrus says. “I’ve never been to Walla Walla, and I would have liked to visit before I accepted my offer. But that’s not the world we are living in right now, and I did not want to put my future on hold.”

Cyrus grew up in a small village in Kenya, Africa, where there were no health care facilities. Moving from Kenya to Nebraska in 2006 for nursing school was a massive change. More than a decade later, a move to Walla Walla is another step into the unknown, but Cyrus says he is optimistic.  

The job search process was surprisingly easy, he says. He applied for the position, and within a day, a recruiter from Provider Solutions & Development contacted him for an initial phone screen. Hours later, a GI physician from St. Mary called to talk to him about the position. By the time he was hired, Cyrus had one-on-one conversations with three physicians and a team interview via video conference.

Cyrus’ Advice

For others considering taking a job sight unseen, Cyrus suggests doing a trial run with a friend to make sure your technology works. Second, write down all your questions, and don’t feel embarrassed if it’s a long list.

“You are taking a big leap to move somewhere with no site visit,” he says. “So don’t feel bad about having a lot of questions. Make a detailed list, have it right in front of you for every interview, and make sure you get all your questions answered.”

Heather Swayze, one of the PS&D recruiters who worked with Cyrus, agreed and added that, in this virtual environment, connecting with the people interviewing you takes on a whole new importance.

“You are going to want to engage in maybe a bit more small talk or banter,” she says. “Find something in common that you can talk or laugh about. That will go a long way toward connecting with the team when you can’t meet them in person.”

Tips from Recruiters

Below, PS&D recruiters share how to set yourself up for success during a virtual interview:

  1. Put your computer or laptop in a tidy room with an uncluttered background. You want to be the visual focal point on the screen. Make sure all other devices are turned off, and your family members or pets won’t interrupt the conversation.
  2. Several days before the interview and on the day of, test your technology. How’s your internet connectivity? Does your camera and microphone work? Especially in today’s climate, employers are looking for tech-savvy candidates.
  3. During the interview, you won’t want to be clicking around on your computer. The team interviewing will be able to see and hear you doing this. Be prepared to answer questions on your own. Print out your CV and common interview question answers so they’re easy to reference.
  4. Practice your interview questions, instead of memorizing, so you’ll sound genuine, clear and succinct. Also, avoid long-winded answers.
  5. Presentation matters. Choose an outfit you’d wear to an in-person interview. Professional clothing will let the team know you’re serious about the job, and will help you feel competent and put-together.
  6. Remember that body language is still important in a virtual interview. Keep the camera at eye level, sit up straight, smile and maintain eye contact by keeping your focus on the camera when you’re talking. Be a bit more expressive than usual and let your personality come through – culture fit is important.
  7. Finally, send emails to thank everyone individually after your interview is over. If you personally connected about something, mention that, as well as anything you may have forgotten to say. Be polite, warm and conversational.

Remember that above all, preparation is the key to virtual interviews. Following these steps will help your best self and your skillset shine through the screen.

About Provider Solutions & Development

Provider Solutions & Development is a community of experts founded within Providence, a purpose-driven, 51-hospital health system, over 20 years ago out of a clear need to change recruitment. Today we support dozens of hospital systems and serve physicians and advanced practice clinicians with heart, from residency to retirement, so they can do the same for their patients. With exclusive access to hundreds of positions across the nation, Provider Solutions & Development offers holistic, personal career coaching and placement that puts physicians and advanced practice clinician’s needs first.

More information about Provider Solutions & Development can be accessed at www.psdrecruit.org.


NATIVE CONTENT | Brought to you by: Provider Solutions & Development

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