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Virtual and Video Interviews: Do’s and Don’ts to Help You Smash It

05 July 2022   |   by Explore Careers

You’ve done online classes from home. You’ve probably caught up with friends and family via a virtual video chat, and we know some of you will be regulars on TikTok and all the other weird and wonderful virtual platforms out there.

But have you had a virtual interview yet?

Yup. Another wonderful addition to our days with the rise of virtual life are video interviews.

Before you break out in a cold sweat, we’ve compiled our expert guide on the dos and don’ts for smashing this interview-style out of the park. Let’s get stuck in!

Virtual and Video Interviews: What to DO

Just because it’s on a screen doesn’t mean you should see your interview as ‘less’ serious or skip other key interview advice.

Here are our top tips to get this right:

1. Treat it like a face-to-face interview.

ALL of the core interview success tips apply here; dress smartly, practice your responses, do your research, and prepare questions to ask – all the usual steps you would take still need to happen.

2. Do a test run before your interview slot.

Your interview might take place on Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Office Conferencing, or Skype – there are many different platforms! Don’t wait until the exact moment of your interview to log in.

At least an hour before, log in to the meeting and check your camera and microphone are all working. Sometimes you can do this without accessing the virtual meeting room; sometimes, you might be in full view, so make sure once you know your camera works, you turn it off until it’s time. You don’t want to get caught picking your nose – or worse!

3. Consider your environment.

On some video conferencing, you can blur out your background, but if you’re using a new platform, you might be unable to locate this quickly. Make sure you’re sitting in a nice, tidy, bright room in your house with as neutral a background as you can find.

Give your space a quick tidy-up and check what’s in view before your meeting begins. You don’t want your dirty socks in full view of a potential employer (especially if you want to convince them how organised you are!).

4. Find the right balance.

The good thing about a video interview is that it can help you feel more relaxed – use this to your advantage to ooze confidence and a positive attitude but don’t go too far.

Remember to be professional, use appropriate language and smile. Talk about your experiences, but keep timing in mind – don’t launch into unnecessary monologues. Have relevant questions ready to go to keep things conversational where you can.

Virtual and Video Interviews: What NOT to Do

Just as all the usual dos for interviews still apply, so do the don’ts! Here are a vital few to remember when logging into your first virtual interview:

1. Don’t be late.

You’ve got zero excuse for being late for a virtual interview – no excuses of traffic or getting lost to lean back on!

Plan your day accordingly, and make sure you give yourself the right time to get prepped and ready to log in to give it your best shot.

2. Don’t forget to let your family know.

If you’ve got parents, siblings or pets who are likely to wander in and out of view, give them a heads up about what you’re doing and ask them to steer clear for the duration of your interview.

This will also help you minimise distractions and stay focused where it matters most.

3. Don’t overcomplicate things.

We KNOW it’s tempting but steer well away from funny filters or imaginative backgrounds when getting logged in or waiting for the employer.

You don’t want to end up like this poor lawyer who ended up stuck as a cat when trying to present in a virtual court case!

Hilarious though it may be, it’s not the impression you want to leave the employer with!

4. Don’t forget the log-off follow-up.

Once your interview ends, thank the employer for their time and ask for the next steps/when you might hear back on the outcome.

Exit the meeting and close your browser tab before doing anything else (again, you don’t want to get caught out by being accidentally still logged in!).

Remember to send your follow-up email. This is a nice step that lets an employer know you’re still interested and gives you a chance to ask any questions you still have.

Get Ready for Virtual

Follow these key do’s and don’ts, and we’re confident you’ll not only impress any potential employer but also feel confident to manage an interview in any environment!

If you’re looking to boost your interview knowledge further, we’ve got heaps more advice on our blog – including advice direct from our top employers (like this excellent list from Domino’s).


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