'Virtual Intelligence' is the Next Must-Have Skill for Remote Job Seekers

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Canva / Fairygodboss Staff

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June 23, 2024 at 5:38PM UTC

Dedication, organization, leadership, empathy — the list for an ideal candidate’s soft skills goes on and on. Now, there’s a new one in the mix: virtual intelligence.

Virtual intelligence is a term often used for artificial intelligence in the virtual role. Yet in the modern workforce where 20% of all professionals work entirely remotely (and more to come), it has a different meaning — one that demonstrates a valuable skill if you’re a job seeker in 2022. 

Virtual intelligence is the ability to read, communicate and work efficiently with others virtually. 

Someone who’s virtually intelligent can use technology to efficiently send status updates, project information and check in with their coworkers online. They have a good virtual presence and can read the virtual room in meetings. 

It’s not about knowing every new piece of tech in the remote or hybrid working world; it’s about using it to effectively and empathetically communicate on the job.

Here’s how can you cultivate virtual intelligence and show hiring managers you’ve aced this new skill.

1. Over-communicate.

In the virtual working world, remote workers know it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate. When you’re connecting with the hiring manager, don’t be afraid to overcommunicate about the virtual, logistical side of things. Clarify their best times to connect and what technology you’ll be using. The more upfront you are about communication cadence, timing and medium, the more you’ll see how prepared you are to be a part of a virtual or hybrid workforce — especially if the job requires you to handle multiple time zones and various technological softwares. 

2. Be aware of how much you’re speaking vs. listening.

When you’re interviewing, show off your virtual intelligence by being hyper-aware of how much you’re talking vs. staying quiet and giving others room to talk. Even though you’re supposed to be convincing the hiring manager you’re right for the role with your answers, be aware of how much time you’re taking to answer them, and whether they seem satisfied with the answer and ready to jump into the next question. It’s okay if you end up talking over them at one point or another — just make sure to politely and confidently move on. Even people with virtual intelligence have awkward Zoom silences sometimes! They’re also able to move on efficiently and read the room.

3. Ask specific questions about team workflows.

When it’s your time to ask questions, don’t shy away from asking directly about this company’s and this team’s workflow and processes in their hybrid or virtual world. Asking about how this team communicates shows that you’re interested in the day-to-day of their work — and gives you the opportunity to explain how you might add to or improve their virtual communication.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for showing off your virtual intelligence in the job search process? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss'ers!

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