How to Prepare for a Virtual Job Interview

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on March 12, 2020

woman having a virtual job interviewMore and more companies are moving away from the in-person job interview and in the direction of a virtual job interview.

There are multiple reasons why:

  • They save time.
  • They’re convenient.
  • They showcase a job seeker’s tech-savviness.

And while employers may be experts at conducting online interviews, for some job seekers the process may be completely new – and possibly a little daunting.

If you have an upcoming virtual job interview, don’t fret. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you put your best foot forward and set you up for a successful interview.

7 (simple) tips to help you prepare for your virtual job interview:

Choose an ideal setting.

Just because virtual interviews can technically be conducted anywhere, that doesn’t mean that they should. Be intentional when selecting where you will be on the day of your interview. Make sure that the environment is quiet – and that it has good lighting as well. Background noise is distracting for both you and the interviewer, and glares or dimly-lit rooms can be off-putting to a potential hiring manager.

Test your technology.

Once you’ve selected where you’re going to be for your virtual interview, make sure that all of your technology works as it should. Test your laptop, desktop or tablet. Make sure that the software you will be using for the interview is properly installed and working correctly. Test that your internet connection is strong, and not lagging, in the room you selected. And check that the audio works as it should.

Be mindful of what’s visible in the background.

Whatever room or location you’ve chosen for your interview, ensure that the setting appears professional. Assess the room you are in. Aside from you, what will be visible to your interviewer? Remove anything that might be considered “inappropriate.” Stage the room so that it looks simple and uncluttered. A busy background can be distracting and can take the hiring manager’s focus away from you.

Know where to look.

Eye contact is important in an interview. And making eye contact is simple enough when you are talking with someone face-to-face. But it gets a little trickier when doing a virtual job interview. Make note of where your camera is. That’s where you want to look. To make things easier for yourself, consider marking the spot. Place a sticker – or, for fun, a pair of googly eyes! – near the camera and direct your gaze there during the interview.

Dress professionally.

There are a lot of jokes out there about how to dress for online interviews. For example, the idea of dressing professionally on top and wearing pajama bottoms. While it’s funny to imagine, you should always dress as you would to an in-person interview. The interview may be virtual, but it’s not any less of a real interview. Dressing professionally is important – and it will do wonders for your confidence!

Be on time.

We can’t stress this enough: it’s important to treat a virtual interview just as you would an in-person interview. Be mindful of the time and make sure you are punctual. There is absolutely no reason why you should be late to your virtual interview. Especially if you have tested all of your technology beforehand.


Set yourself up for success by doing a practice online interview. Ask a friend or family member to help. This is the best way for you to check that your technology works, that the room you chose is ideal, that the background is not distracting, that you are positioned properly in the frame, that your audio is working, and that you are looking where you should. It also gives you the opportunity to practice answering some interview questions.

Employers know – and notice – when a candidate has put time and effort into preparing for an online interview.

And while virtual interviews may one day become more common than in-person interviews, one thing will always remain the same: proper preparation is key to success.

If you need additional help preparing for an interview, whether virtual or face-to-face, visit our blog. We have great articles designed to help job seekers have successful job interviews.

How TERRA Can Help You

Looking for employment opportunities?  Don’t forget that a staffing agency is a great resource.

Recruiters want you to be successful and often provide additional support, including interview prep.

Consider partnering with TERRA Staffing Group. We have offices in many locations and love to help you find the right fit.

Categories: Career Tips

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