A Brief Guide to a Virtual Interview

9 Dec, 2022 | Read in 6 minutes

Prepare for the next step in your job search with a virtual interview. Learn how to dress, prepare your space, and plan for the interview.


Without a doubt, for job seekers interviewing is the most daunting process. And if you're a job seeker right now, chances are you're also interviewing remotely.

Indeed says that 82% of employers use virtual interviewing, and 93% plan to continue using it. The Society of Human Resource Management also says that 50% of recruiters use virtual interviews to narrow their applicant pool.

Let's look wide-eyed at virtual interviews' advantages and disadvantages. Some of the benefits are avoiding delays, looking at reference records, and having the same opportunities. In contrast, the disadvantages are technical uncontrollable conditions or uncomfortable places. Moreover, you can't see the office and understand the work culture there. Lastly, almost everyone wants to work remotely nowadays, implying that the competition is getting bigger.

Virtual interviews are different from virtual meetings. You can't feel cosy vibes like with your old friends. During the interview session, you must be prepared to answer questions from the interviewers.

The definition

A virtual interview is an interview process that takes place remotely, sometimes using telephone or video conferencing. Candidates can be in different locations from the interviewers and discuss the schedule.

Virtual interviews require supporting tools, such as cameras, laptops, video conferencing software, headsets and the internet. Depending on the assessment point, the duration ranged from 15 minutes to an hour. The style is most likely traditional interviews, although some things are casual.

There are two types of virtual interviews: live and recorded. A live interview means you talk to the recruiter through a video conference platform, and the recording means a video recording that contains answers to recruiter questions.

Questions that are usually asked during a virtual interview

Questions for virtual interviews are similar to traditional interviews. Here are some common recruiter questions:

1. Questions about yourself

  1. Tell a little about yourself
  2. What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
  3. What's your weakness?
  4. What do you know about this company?

2. Questions about motivation and time management

  1. How do you manage your daily tasks?
  2. Tell me about a project you did yourself!
  3. How do you deal with distractions at work?
  4. How do you get motivated when working alone?

3. Questions about communication, teamwork and negotiation

  1. Describe when one of the team missed the deadline. How would you handle this situation?
  2. What are you doing to find what you have in common with your co-workers?
  3. What kind of people would you like to work with?

Questions that you need to ask during a virtual interview

You must ask questions during virtual interviews as a job seeker. Some recruiters think that candidates who don't ask questions are a red flag in a company. It means:

  • Make a great first impression
  • Help you make informed decisions from recruiters

Here are some questions you can ask:

  1. What is the work culture in this company?
  2. What kind of people thrive in this company?
  3. What values ​​are emphasised in the company?
  4. What is the definition of success according to the company?
  5. How does this position influence the organisation in overcoming its biggest obstacles?
  6. What are the top priorities in this job?
  7. What is the remote working policy in this office?
  8. How many teams are working remotely?

Some questions may not be answered perfectly. You just need to show that you are interested in this company.

Things you should avoid during a virtual interview

Amanda Augustine, Top Resume says, “Even though virtual interviews are becoming more common, many candidates still need help.” There are several things that candidates should avoid during the interview process:

1. Tinkering with the webcam

Focus on something other than the camera condition. Virtual interviews can get messy if you keep modifying your camera. Recruiters will also get dizzy when they see an unstable video. If you use your cell phone during the interview session, keep it in a stable place.

2. Turn off the camera

Avoid turning off the camera during the interview process. Remember to ask the recruiter for permission to turn off the camera. Some recruiters consider this action unprofessional. It's even more awkward to talk to a blank screen.

3. Letting other people appear in the video

Ensure no one is behind or beside your screen during the interview session. The presence of people behind the scenes will make the recruiter lose focus and disrupt the interview process.

4. Conduct a virtual interview in a crowded place

You and recruiters are uncomfortable when interviewing in noisy places. You won't hear clearly what the recruiter is saying, nor will they. Choose a comfortable and quiet place.

5. Disturbing the recruiter

Disturbing the recruiter, including interrupting the conversation and speaking impolitely. This is the most common mistake candidates make. Learn to be patient by listening to recruiters' questions and answering them.

How to succeed in a virtual interview

Quoting from Northeastern, here are seven ways to successfully pass a virtual interview. Let's roll!

1. Set up and test technology

Photo by Ryland Dean on Unsplash

Avoid the technical glitches that may occur with equipment for virtual interviews. Make sure the camera you use is clear and not blurry. Remember to check the headset and audio. You also have to ensure your internet connection.

2. Dress neatly

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Even if you don't meet the recruiter in person, you must still dress neatly. Dress as if you're setting up a face-to-face interview. Wear comfortable but appropriate clothing. Avoid wearing sleepwear or clothes with bright colours. Choose the right colour so that your skin looks glowing.

Besides the colour, avoid any striking patterns or designs. Remember, the main focus in this interview is yourself, not your clothes.

3. Keep your virtual identity professional

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Project professionalism through a formal email address and username. The combination of numbers will only suffocate the eye. Avoid using cute nicknames in high school because it tarnishes your professionalism.

4. Take care of body language

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

Virtually immobilised handshakes and enthusiastic glances at interviews. But you can convey interest and confidence through body language. Try to sit up straight, answer questions with a smile and make eye contact with recruiters.

The National Library of Medicine reveals that recruiters tend to remember what you say when you maintain eye contact. Ensure the eyes are focused on the camera, not the screen image.

5. Get away from distractions and find a quiet

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Choose a place that is cosy and away from distractions. You can use your study or bedroom to conduct virtual interviews. Put the phone in silent mode and turn off the TV.

6. Practise answering interview questions

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There are no actual questions about what a recruiter will ask. Even the common questions don't match. But try to practise answering the sample questions. Evaluate each answer so it seems natural.

7. Do a follow-up

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After the virtual interview session, thank the recruiter for the opportunity and time. You can also follow up on the next steps after this interview. 


Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular because of the needs of companies and their employees. Managers, recruiters and candidates will experience virtual interviews. Follow this quick guide to prepare for your virtual interview, and you'll be one step closer to your dream companies.

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