How-prepare-virtual-PMO-interview

How to Prepare a Virtual Interview for a Project Management Office (PMO) Role

Remote working is becoming more commonplace across the globe, including for project management offices (PMOs). Even recruiting is moving online, so preparing for a virtual interview for a PMO role is a key element of your PMO job search.

In the new world of recruitment and work, you need to adapt your strong interview skills to being in front of your computer. To help you ace your virtual interview for a PMO role, we’re going to cover:

  • The practicalities of getting yourself ready for your interview
  • How to behave during your virtual PMO interview
  • Things not to do in your online interview for a PMO role

How do I prepare for a virtual job interview for a PMO role?

You may not have to jump in your car and do a test run, but you still need to get a lot of things ready for a virtual job interview. Here are the essential things that you need to get prepared ahead of time.

Technology

You don’t want your tech to fail during a job interview. You need to check that you have everything ready to go in plenty of time for your meeting:

  • Ensure you have the right software downloaded on to your phone or computer
  • Check that your sign-in works for whichever tool you’re using, such as Zoom, Skype, or Hangouts
  • Do a test call with friends or family to check your microphone and camera work well
  • Test your WiFi connection and have data available on your phone to hotspot as a backup
  • Have all your devices fully charged, especially if you’re in a place that’s prone to power outages

Clothing

You may not have been in an office environment for a while, but for an interview, you still need to dress like you’re on-site. Wear a button-down shirt or blouse for a more formal company – check out any company headshots on LinkedIn to get a feel for the business style.

Your surroundings

Be sure to have a quiet space to sit in to do your interview. Try and have children out of the house, or at least aware not to disturb you. Put pets out of the room – you don’t want cat paws disconnecting your call.

Have a neutral background and be lit from the front or the side. Test your lighting at the same time as the interview but the day before so you know if you need to move across the room.

What do I do during a virtual job interview?

The structure of your online job interview will likely be much the same as a normal one, so prepare for the same types of questions.  You can consider having documentation available to support you during the call, such as having a folder with your CV, portfolio, certifications etc. handy so you can share on the screen or in the chat.

In terms of body language, it will be a little different without a handshake:

  • Stay poised; even if you’re sat on your sofa, you should sit up straight
  • Maintain eye contact by looking at your webcam rather than your screen
  • Don’t drink from an old coffee mug or kid’s cup – have a glass of water handy if needed
  • Make hand gestures to communicate your confidence and wave at the beginning and end
Virtual PMO interview
“Stay poised; even if you’re sat on your sofa, you should sit up straight”

What shouldn’t I do in an online interview for a PMO job?

You may never have done a job interview from home before, so it can feel very strange to be in a place you’re familiar with but in a challenging position.

Don’t get a false sense of security and become too informal. Don’t lie back on your sofa or start doodling on your kitchen notepad!

Remember to wear pants. This might sound very obvious, but you may have got into the habit of wearing pyjama bottoms or tracksuit pants and a more formal t-shirt during Zoom meetings, but you should dress formal head to toe during an interview.

Don’t set your background to the beach. Do you remember the lawyer who did a whole court session as a cat? Funny as it is, it’s not professional, and you will come across as not being able to work with standard computer programs.

The take-home

There are lots of things that you can do the same as when you go for a normal, in-office job interview. Preparing for a virtual interview for a PMO role will have a few extra steps like going through your technology and maintaining more awareness about being at home but in a professional capacity. 

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