Top tips for nailing your virtual interview

Job interviews are tough. Video interviews can be a disaster. Poor internet connection, the threat of a pet or child appearing in the background, and nowhere to hide from your own face as you try to concentrate on presenting the best version of yourself.

But it doesn't need to be. Here are some tips for nailing that remote interview.

1. Do a test run

If you're new to Zoom, learn the features with support from a friend or family member. To make sure you know how you look and sound on screen before the interview, do a soundcheck and position your camera so your face and upper body are in full frame.

2. Pull back the curtains

A good amount of natural light is flattering as it evenly accentuates your features and brightens your face. Avoid overhead lighting if you can, as it casts deep shadows under your eyes that may make you look haggard.

3. Dress for the occasion

Prepare by wearing a blazer, necklace or collared shirt. Activewear or tops with a brand name emblazoned across the chest are best avoided.

4. Get the angles right

Placing your device on a pile of books may be needed in order to ensure your screen is elevated, so that you’re at virtual eye-to-eye level with the other person.

5. Build rapport

This is harder on a video call, so spend a little time having a brief conversation about the weather or your weekend before launching into the interview. 

6. Make sure you’re present

It’s easy to get distracted on a video call, but you must ensure you’re fully present and give the other person your full attention. Essentially, treat it as if you’re sitting opposite the other person in real life.

7. Address the panel

It can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen but be sure to make eye contact with the other person by looking at the light on your device’s camera. If you’re being interviewed by a panel, each person on the panel needs eye contact from you.

8. Don’t go off-topic

Video calls can be daunting and nerves are normal. That can cause people to deviate from the question. To stay on track, perhaps note down the question or ask if you have answered adequately to ensure you’re putting your best virtual foot forward.

9. Skip the cheesy wallpaper backgrounds in an interview

Use the opportunity to showcase a clean and clutter-free environment that injects some of your personality into the background.

10. Move on from glitches

We’ve all been caught with the microphone on mute or with the video not turned on. If this happens, don't let it rattle you. Instead, apologise and ask for help, perhaps via the message tool, email or text.