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How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

Job Seeker Tips / June 11, 2020

Whether it’s Go-To Meeting, Skype, Face Time, or everyone’s new favorite venue, Zoom, a video interview is a great way to social distance, save money and time, and accommodate busy schedules. But they can be so awkward! Still, the good news is you were able to land a job interview in a very tight job market.

Here are five ways to make sure you nail your virtual interview and stand out to your potential employer.

Choose an appropriate handle or username

Use some variation of your name, not something that will reflect some immature past behavior. Accompany it with a professional-looking headshot, not a beach picture from your college spring break trip.

Create your own studio

Set up a space against a neutral backdrop that won’t clash with your outfit. Use lighting that flatters your face and doesn’t create a glare. Believe it or not, there are lots of online videos that can help you find your best video-chatting face. And if you need to choose a background to block out some of the clutter around you, choose wisely. Mature and professional, not silly or disrespectful.

Limit all distractions. Turn off your TV, radio, and phone. Close the door and remove children, pets, and noisy roommates who might interrupt. You should be the only living creature in the room! Except for maybe a quiet, courteous goldfish.

Avoid technical difficulties

If possible, plug into your internet source instead of relying on Wi-Fi. Since video streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth, you may need to ask your family or roommates to disconnect their devices to avoid interference. Invest in high quality sound equipment or headset to make sure there’s no audio feedback. Headphones do wonders for drowning out all background noise and helping you to feel like you’re really with your interviewer.

Eliminate distractions on your computer. Close your email and all other browsers. You don’t want to be tempted to glance at another window while an interviewer is speaking because that will be noticeable! You also don’t want to be interrupted by a loud alert from your email or an obnoxious pop-up ad.

Dress the part

Dress professionally. Darker, solid colors or shades of blue tend to show up well on camera. Patterns can be distracting and sometimes create an odd glare, depending on the lighting in the room. Dress head to toe. It’s tempting to wear sweatpants with a suit jacket and tie, but you never know if you’ll need to stand up or what might actually show on camera. Pajama pants don’t exactly shout “businesslike.” You’ll also feel more professional and put-together if you actually are. Avoid large jewelry that can create distracting glares. Practice recording yourself in your outfit to see how you look on camera.

Master your digital body language

Since you can’t shake hands, you’ll have to rely on visual cues and body language to seem composed and confident. Use a firm nod and maintain eye contact with the camera—don’t look at yourself or elsewhere on the screen. Sit up straight and lean forward slightly. Exaggerate your enthusiasm and talk with your hands since the interviewers can’t see the rest of your body. Excessive movements can be blurry onscreen, so don’t fidget. Speak strongly, clearly, and slowly. Pause before speaking so you don’t inadvertently interrupt the interviewer.


For more advice on preparing for interviews and finding a job that’s best suited for your talents, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh