Tips for Virtual Interviews
Virtual interviews are often utilized to conduct interviews at colleges and universities; however, due to guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many will conduct all in-person interviews virtually until further notice. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
Choose a location that is quiet and distraction free. Keep a professional looking notebook and pen handy to jot down any thoughts or questions. Turn off your cell phone to avoid distractions.
Check Your Background
While you are the focus of the call, remember that the interviewer(s) will see objects and decorations in your background. Make sure that your background is professional, appropriate, and best reflects you as a candidate. Clean up the area around your computer to ensure the background on your video is not distracting. Check your lighting. You want enough light that you can be seen clearly, but not too much light that the screen will be harsh or there will be shadows. If using Zoom, consider using a virtual background – you can find more information on how to use virtual backgrounds on Zoom here.
Arrive Early and Test Your Equipment*
Prior to your interview start time, login into the video or call platform to make sure there are no issues with the login credentials or the link provided to you. Test your internet connection. Familiarize yourself with the technology to help avoid technical difficulties.
- How do you turn on your video camera?
- Is your microphone muted?
- Do you have access to a chat box in case there are technical difficulties and you want to communicate with the interviewing team?
Try to avoid using your cell phone camera as a video option, as phone calls and text messages can be unwanted distractions during the interview.
*If you do not have access to the necessary hardware or technology, inform the interview coordinator early so they can make alternative arrangements.
During the Interview
Establish a focal point on the screen near the camera and speak directly into the microphone. Print supporting documents rather than displaying them on a separate screen to minimize unexplained eye movement. Convey the same level of interest and confidence that you would in an in-person interview.
Remember – this is new to all of us
Virtual interviews are new to many of us. Be patient. Be flexible. Be direct and honest. If errors or glitches with technology occur, let the search committee know and have them repeat their question or assist in resolving the issue.
For more help with virtual interview preparation, we recommend that you visit: Indeed’s Video Interview Guide.