You can Ace That Virtual Interview

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

Your potential employer decided to call you back and set up a virtual interview, or video interview, ahead of meeting you in person. Companies employ video interviewers to save time and money and as a way to narrow the field of candidates even further before having in-person interviews. Discover what it takes to master remote interviews throughout your job search.

Check the Hardware

Check the hardware setup on your computer before the virtual interview. Make sure your internet connection works properly, your image shows up on the camera and your audio sounds clear. Conduct a trial run with a friend or family member to make sure that person can see and hear you clearly, and vice versa. Use the same video conferencing program that the employer uses, whether it's Skype, Google Hangouts or something similar. Prepare your computer setup at least one hour ahead of an interview.

Create a Professional Environment

Put your computer in a place that harbors a professional setup. This means a white wall behind you in a quiet room without distractions. Find someone to watch your children or take the dog out before your virtual interview starts. Get as much privacy, peace and quiet as possible.

Avoid setting up near windows that could cause too much glare on the camera. At the same time, you want adequate lighting to make sure your face looks its best so your interviewer can see you clearly.

Examine the Framing

Experiment with your camera ahead of the virtual interview so you appear from the waist- or chest-up. You don't want an extreme close-up of your head, nor do you want to seem too distant from the camera. Having a mid-range shot gives your interviewer the opportunity to see you, your gestures and your personality so that person can assess your soft skills.

Dress for Success

Look your best for your virtual interview. Wear business formal attire to make a lasting first impression. For men, that's a necktie, a collared shirt, formal slacks, a jacket and nice shoes. Women should wear a professional business blouse and possibly a vest along with a knee-length skirt, hose and formal, open-toed shoes. Dressing the part helps you get into a professional interview mode.

Use Nonverbal Cues

Make eye contact during your interview. Eye contact is important because it maintains focus on what you're saying to your interviewer. Relax, smile and speak naturally while looking at the camera instead of the interviewers on the screen.

Use gestures carefully because they may not translate well to video. Quick gestures may seem abrupt on the video feed, especially if there is a delay in the transmission or the audio is not in sync with the video. Sit with your hands in your lap and gesture with your hands as little as possible.

Mastering a virtual interview during a job search is vital to success since more and more companies are using this process. Treat this interview as you would an in-person interview to impress employers and boost your chances of landing the position. How would you prepare for a video interview?

Photo courtesy of Marco Verch at


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