The Virtual Interview


Note:  If you have read the blog entry about The Phone Interview, you will see some similarities below.


The new environment we are navigating is ever changing.  Just when we were used to telephone screens followed by in-person interviews, we now have a new “face-to-face”, the virtual interview.  What is a virtual interview?  It is an interview conducted online via a device and an app.  It could be on Skype, WebEx, Zoom, Facetime, or Google Meet, just to name a few.  So what does that mean?


It means a little different preparation.  It is very similar to an in-person interview.  Instead of a commute to the appointment, you have some additional preparation.  So, what should you do in addition to the usual prep for questions?


  1. Note:  You may need a phone for audio in addition to a visual device depending on what technology is used and how it is set up. 
  2. Do your set up and testing earlier to the meeting time.  What kind of set up do you need?  If you are going to be on video, make sure your camera in your mobile phone or computer is level with your face, not looking up into your nose.  (That’s not a good look for anyone!)  Center yourself.  You can reverse the camera view or see yourself in an inset in some cases.  Or, ask a friend (remotely works) to connect with you on your choice of media app.  Do not use the interviewer’s link that was sent to you.  It could be a generic link that will interrupt another manager’s meeting.  Set up your own situation for testing.   If you are using a laptop, set it up on some books to elevate the position.  Make sure your table (if small) does not shake when you write or type.  If it does, then have a stable place like a separate table for your device’s camera.
  3. Lighting is important.  Just watch a horror film to see what it can do to a face.  Make sure that your set up has your whole face illuminated.  Natural light is great.  It is best to not have yourself backlit with a window or illuminated lamp.  You can find a ring light and a phone holder combo for less than $25 that clamps on a surface or you can set up 2 lamps – one on either side of you or one in front.  Soft light is better that a harsh bright light.  Do not set up directly under a ceiling light.
  4. Look at your background.  What is there?  Is it distracting?  Is a revolving fan on the ceiling distracting to the viewer?  (Yes, they are.)  Edit as needed.  If you have a room divider, that could be your choice for a background.  Make sure that your set up will allow for privacy and you are able close the door if you have others in the home.  The manager wants to get to know you, not your family or your pets, no matter how cute!
  5. What cords do you need?  Plug in your laptop or device.  For your phone or other device, do you have an earpiece or headphones?  Don’t assume you have enough battery power.  Have these set up and plugged in ahead of time.  Taking time to connect during the interview will only demonstrate that you were not prepared and could be taken that you are disrespecting the interviewer(s).
  6. Print out a copy of your resume for your reference.  Take care to not shuffle or move papers.  It is amazing how much noise is conveyed by the microphone and it is annoying.  Have a copy of your resume attached in an email, subject line filled in with:  (Your Name) – Resume.  If your interviewer(s) needs a copy, you can quickly email it.  Just ask for their email.  You will look prepared and efficient. 
  7. Have a couple of pens/pencils for backup and a notepad for taking notes.  Have a glass or bottle of water near in case you need it, but out of the way to avoid spillage.
  8. Grooming:  What should you wear or do?  Prepare as you normally would.  Yes, shave and wear the suit. Put on the make up and do your hair.  Have fresh breath.  Why?  It puts you in a mood for a more professional state of mind. 
  9. Set a reminder for 15 minutes prior to the interview to turn off any alarms or buzzers from devices or appliances like dishwashers or laundry machines.  Turn off the TV and/or music.  Put a sign on your door that you have an “Interview in Progress – Quiet Please” just to remind others.
  10. Set a reminder for 5 minutes prior to the interview to connect.  By now you should be seated.  You do not want to be late and if there is an issue, you can attempt again or contact the interviewer.
  11. Take 3 deep breaths, releasing slowly to relax and get oxygen to the brain so you can think well. Smile!  You can do this! 
  12. Once you are actually in the interview, be mindful of your posture, lean a little forward, but do not be too close to the camera.  Remember, you want to look interested, but not invasive.  You practiced, so you should be more comfortable with this.  Remember, they see everything, so be aware of where you are looking.  Look at the camera.  Smile when you say hello.  



You have prepared for questions from your workbook (eBook).  You just reviewed the “2 Minute Drill” on bperceptive.com.  Stay focused. Stay calm and confident.  You can Nail the Interview! 


Good Luck!

If you are working with a recruiter, don’t forget to update them post interview!  

bperceptive • bsmart • bsuccessful


Contact:  barbara@bperceptive.com