Virtual interview tips

Interviewing can be awkward for students and new grads because the conversation is different from our daily exchanges. So how can you set yourself apart in a virtual interview? 

October 13, 2022

Virtual Interviewing can feel awkward at first because most people are used to making their first
impression in person. Though trends have changed, with new technology to interview from across the
globe, virtual interviewing can still be an adjustment for many job seekers.

Mode of interview delivery

  • Find out if your interview will be on the phone, Skype, Zoom or another virtual platform.
  • Some companies may send you a link to record your interview.
  • If it is a video interview, find out how many chances you have to answer each question and if it is a timed response.
  • Write down the contact information — this will be useful if any technology glitches occur during your interview.

Environment

  • Choose a quiet space where you will not be interrupted.
  • Ensure your background is professional.
  • Centre your head in the screen and practice the technology to ensure it works and that the volume and picture quality are good.

Preparation

  • Dress as you would for an in-person interview — from top to bottom!
  • Have a copy of your resume and some key organization/industry facts nearby for easy reference.
  • Have a pen and paper for note-taking (e.g. writing down next actions). If possible, limit typing, as this can be distracting for the interviewer.
  • Practice talking into the camera, not to your screen, and ensure the camera is at eye level.
  • Check your lighting to ensure it is not too bright or too dark.
  • Turn off your phone and TV, and ensure you minimize all distractions. If you are on a computer, turn off notifications for email and websites.

Tips

  • Be yourself. Remember to smile. This will project a positive tone.
  • Speak slowly and enunciate clearly. Take a couple of seconds before you respond in case there is a lag in the technology
  • Be prepared for technology glitches, and do not panic if they occur.
  • Listen carefully and take your time! It is okay to take a moment to collect your thoughts.
  • Keep a glass of water nearby. Do not chew gum or eat throughout the interview.

Make sure you do company research, review the job posting to anticipate questions and practice your
answers. You should also prepare questions to ask at the end of your interview.