Do’s and Don’ts Of Virtual Interviewing

Due to the pandemic, most recruiters/employers have moved to virtual interviewing.  A virtual interview is an interview that takes place remotely, this could be via Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Most interviews are likely to be carried out online for the foreseeable future, so you need to be prepared.  Here are some do’s and don’ts to succeed in virtual interviewing.

DO schedule the interview for a time it will be quiet in your home.

The interview should be conducted somewhere that you won’t be disrupted.  Tell people in your location that you are going onto an interview and not to disturb you.

DON’T wait until last minute to prepare.

If you don’t give yourself time to prepare, you may find yourself in the situation of not being able to answer a question.

DO prepare by practicing interview questions and carrying out research on the company just as you would do normally.

You should spend time practicing interview questions, just as you would do for a normal job interview.  Think about why you want that specific job and how you can make a positive impact on the company.

DON’T constantly look off camera to review notes.

Having to keep looking at notes will tell the interviewer that you are not prepared and cannot think on the spot.

DO give plenty time before the interview to download any apps/software onto your device.

What video communications app is your virtual interview taking place on?  This could be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, etc.  You will need to create your account and download the correct app onto your device.  Make sure to familiarise yourself with the technology before the interview.  Test it with a friend or family member. Make sure you know how to call someone, answer a call, hang up, turn on your camera/sound and even screen share if it is needed.

DON’T use a silly username.

Having an inappropriate username is very unprofessional. Just using your name is fine.

DO check your internet connection on the day of the interview.

Go into your device settings and check your internet/network.  This is so you can be certain that it is working.

DON’T get frustrated at any connection glitches.

Unfortunately, using video communications can be difficult if the internet connection gets weak at either end.  You must be patient and ask if you need the interviewer to repeat a question.

DO set up and test your audio/camera.

Most video communications apps allow you to test your audio/video.  Set up the camera where you can be seen from the waist up, with the camera pointing straight at you, not too much up or down.  If you can only see half of your head that is all the other person will see.  Make sure the camera lens is clean and ensure that the part of the room that will be visible is tidy and free from clutter, or use a professional background.  Does the room have good lighting?  It is better when the light is aimed towards your face.

DON’T turn off your camera.

Tuning off your camera is a red flag to the interviewer, it shows that you are hiding something.  Unless you are asked otherwise, keep your video camera on.

DO, if using your phone or a tablet, prop your device up against something so that it doesn’t move.

When using a device that doesn’t stand on its own, prop it against something sturdy so it doesn’t fall during the interview.

DON’T hold your phone or tablet in your hand.

Your hand will move or shake after a while of holding a device.  Fiddling with or moving the camera will just cause distraction.

DO be professional.

Just like you would do normally, you must dress appropriately, keep your eyes forward, maintain your posture, show your personality, be confident and don’t fidget.

DON’T be late.

Make sure that you are sat with your device ready at least 5 minutes before the interview, your interviewer may call you slightly earlier.  Being late doesn’t give a good impression.

DO ask questions.

Asking the interviewer questions about the job/company will show that you are interested and keen.  It will also help you decide if a job is offered.

DON’T distracted the interviewer by things around you.

You want the interviewer to be focussed on you, not anything going on around you. Don’t have things like a TV turned on behind you. Do not have a mirror directly behind you, or indeed in view at all; you never know what an interviewer may see.

DO listen.

Listening to the interviewer will help you stay focussed and active.  Listen carefully to questions asked and think before answering.

DON’T interrupt the interviewer.

Never interrupt the interviewer, this gives a negative impression.  If you don’t understand something, wait until they have finished talking, then if you have any questions, ask them at the end.