Gain insight from PPD recruiters on top tips for virtual interviewing.

Life at PPD virtual interview

Today, technology is so accessible that people can communicate worldwide easier than ever before. Due to this evolution, more and more companies are going global. PPD is no exception. With offices located in 46 countries, virtual communication is key to remaining game changers within the clinical trial industry. PPD takes advantage of improved communication technology, which allows recruiters to have in-depth, online discussions for job interviews and meetings.

PPD’s talent acquisition team relies heavily on phone and video interviewing to reach remote and global candidates. Here are five top tips for a successful video interview:

1. Watch your body language.

  • When it comes to virtual interviewing, body language is key. In a virtual interview, how do you know where to look? “Looking into the camera gives the impression of making eye contact,” advises Alicia Lindsay, talent acquisition program specialist.
  • To remain professional and focused, avoid fidgeting or wiggling. “It may be best to use a stable chair rather than a swivel chair,” suggests Alicia.
2. Vary your vocal delivery.
  • Communication via the web can potentially lead to speaking in monotone, which quickly loses the attention of your interviewer. To help prevent this, Olivija Donnelly, senior recruiter, suggests smiling when you talk and speaking with enthusiasm. “Most importantly, I recommend being engaged and interactive,” says Tiffany Hemphill, senior recruiter.
  • Listening clearly and not interrupting your audience is crucial. As an interviewee, you do not want to miss part of a question or rush your answers. Take your time to answer and ask for more clarification if needed once the interviewer has finished speaking. Once you are ready to answer or respond, “Speak slowly and clearly,” explains Olivija.
3. Minimize your distractions.
  • Like during a face-to-face interview, you want to focus on your interviewer. During web-based interviews it is critical to avoid any distractions. PPD’s recruitment team stresses the importance of closing other computer programs such as Facebook and emails—getting notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional.
  • A key tip for a successful online interview: “Children or pets should be in another area to avoid them interrupting the interview,” says Nicol McNaney, senior corporate recruiter.
4. Prepare yourself.
  • Be sure to arrive on time, if not early, to allow time to feel prepared and relaxed. Even though you are at a computer screen, you want to display the same professionalism as you would in a face-to-face meeting. Have a copy of your resume in front of you to refer to during the interview, as well as a pen and paper to take notes and ask questions.
  • Our recruiters strongly suggest preparing a list of questions to ask as well as rehearsing what you are going to say. You will often be advised ahead of time on what kinds of questions will be asked during the interview and we recommend preparing your answers in advance. You don’t want to sound unnatural or robotic. It is important to sound prepared and composed.
  • Nicol says on professionalism: “Although it’s a video, it is important to dress appropriately and professionally.”
5. Ready your technology and environment.
  • The key to success is to avoid any technological issues during your interview. You wouldn’t want to show up to a face-to-face interview late. Same with an online interview. PPD’s recruitment team strongly advises interviewees to test their equipment in advance. This will help to avoid any delays when it is time to begin. 
  • Before you begin, make sure you are in a well-lit room with your camera positioned to center your image. Test your audio/microphone as you want your interviewer to clearly see and hear you.
  • Lastly, look behind you. Our recruiters can see what is in your background and may receive a less-than-professional impression of you. For example, you may want to consider conducting your interview in a home office rather than a bedroom.

PPD’s relentless pursuit of excellence starts with our commitment to hiring the brightest minds across a diverse range of backgrounds. We believe succeeding in job interviews takes research, preparation and persistence. Our team wants to see the best you! We hope these tips and tricks will help you prepare for your video interview.

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