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5 Tips for conducting virtual interviews

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

By now we have all seen the videos of kids barging into closed offices, partners walking around half-dressed, and pets lovingly jumping into the laps of those trying to participate in virtual meetings and interviews. In a world being held together through electronic communication, it's important that we know how to participate and how to do it well.


Interviewing is daunting enough without the pressures of technology. While they are similar to traditional, in-person interviews, there are a number of things to take into consideration when preparing to go digital. Here are five simple tips to help keep your interviews going smoothly:

1. Test your technology

I've been on many virtual meetings over these past few months where technology has failed. Be sure to communicate to your candidate what method (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime) you will be using. Once you've determined your method of choice, be sure to check your technology.

A few things to check for:

  • Internet connection

  • Video

  • Audio

If you are giving a group interview, make sure you coordinate with the other interviewers before the start of the meeting. Before our team's interviews, we like to have everyone log on five-to-ten minutes before the official interview time to sort out the order of introductions and the asking of questions.

2. Minimize distractions

Be sure to pick the perfect spot. The lighting shouldn't be too dark, but too much light can also cause awkward glares. Natural light is best, so if you can, pick a spot near a window.

Also, silence all technologies that could cause distraction during the interview process, such as your phone or email notifications on your computer.

If you have others, including children or pets, residing with you, make sure they are aware you are conducting an interview. If you can, lock yourself in a separate room, where interruptions can be kept scarce.

3. Get dressed

Even though you're not meeting in person, it's still important to give a good first impression. Remember, just like you're trying to discover if they're the best fit for the job, they are also interested in seeing if you're a good fit for them. Sit up straight, wear pants, and smile!

4. Calm your nerves

Nerves seem to be magnified in the little square boxes on the computer screen. While we are used to interacting in person, there is little distracting us from behaviors on the screen. It's important to remember to slow down, and don't forget to breathe.

5. Make eye contact

Be sure to look at the camera, instead of the person's square, if you are attempting to look them in the eye. It will also help you stay focused on what you're saying.

The best advice is to embrace technology and the use of electronic communication! It may be a while before we're shaking hands in the office again.

If you liked these tips or have some other tips, let us know!

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