Human Resources

23 Tips and Tricks for Acing Your Next Virtual Job Interview

Published on November 3, 2022 • About 8 min. read

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Woman conducting a virtual recruiting event and interview using livestorm

If you're job hunting, chances are you've had to adapt to a new part of the application process — virtual job interviews. While there are some advantages to virtual job interviews, they also come with their own set of challenges.

The right setting, the right outfit, and the right attitude are all important factors. To help you prepare for your next big interview, we've compiled a list of virtual interview tips and tricks. By the end of this article, you'll have an actionable plan to follow that will help you land your dream job.

The State of Digital Fatigue
The State of Digital Fatigue
The state of digital fatigue in 2022, report
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The State of Digital Fatigue

Download this report to take a deep dive into remote employees state of digital fatigue after two years, and understand how companies can help moving forward.

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What to expect from a virtual interview?

A virtual job interview is much like a face-to-face one, with a few key differences. Here are a few virtual job interview tips:

  1. The interviewer might be recording the interview
  2. Technical difficulties are more common
  3. You could be interviewed by more than one person
  4. The interview may be shorter than expected

1. The interviewer might be recording the interview

Be aware the interview might be recorded so other decision-makers can assess your suitability for the role. It could also be recorded for training other interviewers. Follow the best virtual meeting etiquette to ensure you're not caught off guard. Be aware of your body language and facial expressions.

2. Technical difficulties are more common

With virtual job interviews, there can often be technical difficulties. The software might crash, the audio might cut out, or the internet connection might be unreliable.

Be patient and understanding if this happens. The best you can do is be prepared for any technical difficulties, so test your equipment and your internet connection before the interview.

3. You could be interviewed by more than one person

In a virtual job interview, it's not uncommon for there to be more than one interviewer. A group interview might be conducted by the hiring manager and a panel of employees.

job seeker using virtual interview tips

4. The interview may be shorter than expected

Virtual job interviews are often shorter than face-to-face ones. There are fewer social cues, and it's harder to build a rapport with the interviewer. The interviewer might also have a strict schedule to stick to. Keep your answers short and to the point.

How to prepare for a virtual interview

From testing your equipment to preparing your answers, there are many aspects that you can control. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview:

5. Find out what’s expected of you

You might be required to bring a presentation - or even solve a problem on the spot. Find out what's expected of you by asking the interviewer ahead of time. For example, if you've applied for a more technical role, the interviewer might want to see a demo of your skills and assess how you perform under pressure.

6. What are the questions asked in a virtual interview?

Researching the company and the role you're applying for will give you a better understanding of what to expect from the interview. Review the job posting and highlight any key responsibilities or qualifications.

Prepare answers to common interview questions, such as:

  • What do you understand about the role/company?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What’s your previous job experience?
  • Why are you interested in this role?

Remember that your interviewer might be on a time crunch, so keep your answers focused. If you’re worried about taking up too much time on one question you can touch base and ask “would you like me to elaborate on that?”

7. Perfect your video call setup

One of the advantages of virtual interviews is that you can control your environment. Wherever you choose to do your interview — at home, in a cafe, or in a library — find a place where you won't be interrupted.

Keep everything you need for the interview within reach, such as a notebook, a pen, your resume, and the job posting. Make sure your laptop is fully charged or plugged in.

8. Set up camera and lighting

Position the camera at eye level, or use a laptop stand to prop it up if necessary. Avoid having the sun behind you, as this might make it difficult to see your face. Built-in cameras aren't always the best quality. Go for video conferencing cameras with clear, high-definition video.

Lighting is just as important as camera placement. Avoid having a light source behind you, as this will cause your face to appear in shadow. Sit facing a window for natural lighting. If you're looking for a remote job that frequently demands video calls, research the best lights for video conferencing.

9. Make sure you have a stable WiFi connection

Whether you're attending the interview call from home or in a public space, test your internet connection beforehand. Simply run a speed test to see if your upload and download speeds are high enough.

Close any tabs or programs that might use up bandwidth, such as video streaming services. Have a backup plan, like a mobile hotspot, in case your WiFi connection cuts out during the interview.

10. Choose a background

A professional or neutral background is always a good choice. You want the interviewer to focus on you, not your surroundings. Avoid clutter, TV screens, or anything that might be a distraction.

But if you're applying for a creative role, adding your personality to your background can be a great way to stand out. For example, bookshelves and houseplants can be good conversation starters to help the interviewer get to know you better.

If you don’t have the perfect setting, the best background for video conferencing is virtual. Livestorm’s virtual background library is complete with different images to suit different occasions - or you can upload your own.

virtual interview backgrounds

11. Test your headphones and mic

An echo or background noise can be very off-putting for the person on the other end. Avoid using your computer's built-in microphone and speakers if possible. Invest in a good pair of headphones with a noise-canceling mic. Getting the right portable gear is crucial for remote work. This adds an extra layer of professionalism and helps avoid any potential technical issues.

12. Check which platform your call will be hosted on

Most virtual job interviews happen over online meeting software like Livestorm, Zoom, or Skype. While most are browser-based, some might require you to download an app. Create an account on the platform ahead of time and test it out with a friend or family member. Familiarize yourself with the interface, features like screen and media sharing, compatibility with your device, and any potential glitches.

The State of Digital Fatigue
The state of digital fatigue in 2022, report
Reports Reports

The State of Digital Fatigue

Download this report to take a deep dive into remote employees state of digital fatigue after two years, and understand how companies can help moving forward.

Read more

Tips for a successful virtual interview

While getting your tech sorted is essential, how you present and conduct yourself is just as important. Here are our tips for acing a virtual interview.

13. Dress appropriately

While you might be interviewing from the comfort of your home, it's important to look presentable. Pajamas or athleisure wear won't convey the professionalism you want to exude. Identify what to wear for an interview as you would for an in-person interview, but pay attention to colors that work well on camera.

If you set up a virtual background, consider how your outfit compliments the color palette to make you look good in the video call. Clashing patterns or loud prints can be distracting, so it's best to stick with solid colors.

14. Use visual cues

There's nothing worse than an awkward silence during an interview. Use visual cues like post-its if you blank out or need a little help to keep the conversation flowing. Write down key points you want to hit, such as discussing your experience or why you're excited about this particular role.

Remember tips for acing a virtual interview using sticky notes

15. Answer the question

Get to the point quickly, and then elaborate with examples. If you're not sure how to answer a question, take a moment to collect your thoughts before responding. Or, if you feel like you’ve gone off-topic, you can double-check the question with your interviewer and give a quick summary of the important points.

16. Ask if you can share your screen

If you're asked to talk about a specific project or experience, showcasing your work with a screen share can impress your interviewer. This will give them a better sense of how you can lead a conversation, present your ideas, and think on your feet.

17. Use the mute button if you need to

Whether you want to sip some water, clear your throat, or take a break to relieve some nerves, don't be afraid to mute yourself.

Once you're ready to jump back in, remember to unmute so you can continue the conversation. Remember that your interview is probably being recorded, so any fidgeting or other background noise will be picked up.

18. Request a link to the recording

There's no better way to judge your performance than to watch it back. Some virtual interview platforms like Livestorm send automated recordings to attendees, so check your inbox for any overlooked emails.

If you don’t see a recording, reach out to your interviewer and request one. This will allow you to go back, listen, and reflect on how you did. If there are any areas you feel you could improve on, make a note for next time.

Virtual group interview tips

While a one-on-one interview is nerve-wracking enough, a group interview can add an extra layer of stress. However, by following these virtual job interview tips, you can stay calm and stand out.

19. Use the “raise a hand” feature

In a video call, it can be difficult to tell when someone is trying to speak. To avoid interrupting or talking over others, use the “raise hand” feature in your video conferencing software. This will notify the interviewer that you have something to say and allow them to unmute you when it's your turn to speak.

20. Avoid staying on mute for the entire interview

Show your enthusiasm for the role by participating in the conversation. Remembering to unmute yourself from time to time to ask a question or make a point will let the interviewer know you're engaged and interested.

21. Stick to the script

When you're in a group, it can be easy to get sidetracked. Someone might monopolize the conversation or go off on a tangent, making it difficult to stay focused. Keep your responses relevant to the question and avoid getting pulled into other conversations.

22. Ask questions

An interview is a two-way street. This is your chance to learn more about the company, team, and role you're interviewing for. Come prepared with at least three questions to ask at the end of the interview.

With video conferencing software like Livestorm, you can also leave your questions in the questions tab to avoid interrupting the flow of conversation.

livestorm's questions tab

23. Follow up with a thank-you note

Once the interview is over, send a follow-up email to thank your interviewer for their time. This is also an opportunity to restate your interest in the role and reiterate why you would be a good fit. Sending a thank-you note is a small gesture that can go a long way. It's an extra step that will help you stand out from the other candidates.

Ace that virtual job interview

Interviews are the crux of job hunting. Be well prepared, stay calm and confident, and you're sure to ace that virtual job interview. Remember to always test your technology ahead of time, find a quiet and professional space, dress the part, and be yourself.

During your interview, stand out from the rest of the candidates by being engaged, asking questions, and taking the time to follow up with a thank-you note afterward.

Frequently asked questions about virtual job interviews

What is a virtual job interview?

A virtual job interview is conducted online, typically via video conferencing software like Livestorm, Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet.

How do you introduce yourself in a virtual interview?

Introduce yourself in a virtual interview with a brief personal summary, such as your name, current role, and years of experience, followed by a question for the interviewer or about the company.

What should you not do in a virtual interview?

You shouldn’t stay muted the entire time, interrupt others, or talk over others. You should also avoid getting sidetracked, monopolizing the conversation, or going off on tangents. Instead, focus on the question at hand and be sure to leave time for questions at the end.

How do you stand out in a virtual interview?

You stand out in a virtual interview by being prepared. Test your technology out ahead of time, make sure you have a good virtual interviewing setup, and place visual clues around your webcam so you don’t forget important points. Don’t be afraid to ask interviewers to repeat or clarify questions, and come armed with questions of your own.

The State of Digital Fatigue
The state of digital fatigue in 2022, report
Reports Reports

The State of Digital Fatigue

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