Today Interviews Are Virtual – Are You Prepared?

Today Interviews Are Virtual – Are You Prepared?

By Published On: August 13, 2020Categories: Tech Trends

Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic is here, and it seems that it will be for some time. The new normal is a remote working environment and physically meeting people as little as possible. Companies have had to change how interviews are held under these new conditions and physical distancing guidelines. One way they are continuing business as usual is using video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype in lieu of in-person interviews.

In-person interviews were challenging enough, but today you not only need to prepare for the interview itself, but also ensure you have set yourself up for success and are putting your best face forward.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview:

How Virtual Interviews Are Conducted

A video interview can take one of two forms; live or pre-recorded depending on factors like time-zone and the number of people to be interviewed.

Live Interviews

This is a real time engagement with the interviewer talking to you as they would in a standard interview, asking questions that can be answered in a conversational format. Note that live video interviews require a fast, stable internet connection so that video is sharp, and audio is crisp. You will not come across as professional if the interviewer can’t hear your responses or you get disconnected in the middle of your session.

Pre-recorded Interviews

Sometimes there are numerous candidates that have applied for the position, so to narrow down the field companies will send a link to a pre-recorded set of screening questions. You are required to answer these questions as your audio/video is being recorded for later review by the hiring manager.

Obviously, you will still need a fast, stable internet connection, but since these questions are usually timed, so your answers must be precise and to the point. Otherwise you may be removed from selection.

Preparation Tips for a Video Interview

Here are a few general tips you should use for your next interview:

Dress Professionally

Not only does your appearance gives an impression to the interviewers about your professionalism, but it also shows your level of commitment to the opportunity.  Dressing for the interview can also help get ‘your head in the game’.

Business casual is a safe bet; however, it is a best practice to research the company and understand their culture before you select your wardrobe. If the company promotes a casual dress code on their careers page you can likely dress down a bit.  Alternatively, if the business is a more formal one you should likely wear a suit. Dress for the position you are applying for.   


As mentioned previously, you need a high-quality internet connection that will ensure your audio and video do not lag during the interaction. If it’s wireless, nothing less than a 4G connection will do. Otherwise, a 1 megabit per second wired connection will do great.

The sound capture and output abilities of some laptops and mobile devices are not the highest quality. It is in your best interest to invest in a headset with a separate microphone. This way you are sure you’ll hear all the questions clearly and deliver you answers without issue.  You should also test your audio prior to the interview to ensure everything is working properly.


Selecting the proper location for your interview is crucial to come across as professional and prepared.  Find a place that is well-lit and quiet, where you won’t be disturbed. Make sure the background does not have any distracting items, pictures, or colours.  A best practice is to find a space with a neutral wall behind you and a light source in front of you.

Come to the Interview Prepared

Just as you would with an in-person interview, you should ensure you have done some research about the company you are applying to be a part of.  Use the job description to know what skills are most important to your potential employer. Commonly required skills include teamwork and communication.

Interviewers test you for these skills using behavioural questions that usually start with something like, “Tell me about a time…”. You are expected to tell a short story that will show the interviewer you have the experience they are looking for but also the ability to communicate effectively.

The S.T.A.R method is a great way to answer behavioural questions as clearly and quickly as possible. It stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.

For each category of skills in the job description, prepare a story that covers the situation you were in, the task that was assigned, what action you took to complete the task and the result you achieved.  Having prepared these answers in advance will ensure you come across as knowledgeable and well spoken.


Do’s and Do Not's for Your Video Interview

Even though a video interview is similar to an in-person, there are a few key do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

  • DO NOT connect to the interview from a smartphone or tablet. Use a laptop or desktop computer for any virtual interview. This ensures that the device will be stable throughout the interview and you will be able to perform additional tasks like short online tests if you are asked.


  • DO prepare any software you may need for the interview in advance. Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams all have desktop applications you can download and install on your computer. If you’ve never used them before, have a practice call with a friend so that you know how to use the interface before the interview.


  • DO make sure any unnecessary apps, windows or tabs are closed – The last thing you want during your interview is for the computer or device to freeze. Also make sure the computer isn’t downloading anything in the background.


  • DO NOT sit in front of a window – If it is dark outside or you’re in a room with a window, keep a light source in front of you so that your face is well lit. A light source located behind you will hide your face and can also create a glare that is uncomfortable for your interviewer. 


  • DO NOT move too much – Avoid waving your hands when emphasising a point or fidgeting in your seat. Moving to much in front of the camera can create a blur/stutter for your interviewer.


  • DO remember to thank the interviewer for their time – Whether in person or virtual, this gesture of gratitude helps to create a bond with them and demonstrates your professionalism.


Virtual interviews are altogether different from in-person interviews and the mind-set that gets you the job should be the same. Get to know the software better, get the right hardware and prepare for the interview questions in advance.

Are you preparing for the job market? Let the experts at ASB Resources help you find your dream job! Schedule a call with one of our experts today!

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