Tips for interview candidates

Planning for your virtual interview

  • Do a technical check a few days before the interview to make sure that you have the correct software installed and your camera and microphone are working

See this annotated screen shot for the basic commands for MS Teams meetings.

  • Find a venue where you will not be disturbed. Set up an appropriate background. A neutral room with soft natural light is best
  • Think about the appropriate dress code for the interview and avoid very bright colours or complicated patterns

Last-minute checks

  • Log in a few minutes before to make sure that you have a strong broadband connection and your technology is working. Adjust the volume levels if necessary
  • Turn off alerts that might pop up on screen and distract you; remove other distractions such as nearby phones, or other tech
  • Have a notepad and pen handy so you can note any questions you wish to ask at the end of the interview
  • Make sure family/colleagues know you are about to start the interview
  • Take time to settle into your chosen location for the interview so you feel comfortable

Tips during the interview

  • If you are unused to participating in virtual meetings, you may find it helpful to do a trial run with a friend or colleague and ask them for tips on how you presented on screen. Think of a news or current affairs television personality that you find effective and consider how they present themselves
  • Good eye contact is particularly important in a virtual interview but it is acknowledged that this can pose particular issues for some people. Your camera should be at eye level to avoid looking down on or away from the interviewer. Moving the on-screen tile/video image of the interviewer so that it is adjacent to the camera will help you to establish eye contact
  • It’s easy to let your eyes wander; try to avoid looking away from the camera wherever possible – it could make you look distracted
  • It is not as easy to build or maintain rapport with a panel of interviewers through video conferencing. Consider responding to the questioner by name and then check at the end of the response whether they require any expansion
  • Do not use any notes or briefing materials, other than those you might have if you were physically present at an interview. You will look distracted if you are repeatedly looking away, so prepare properly instead
  • Maintain a good posture and try to respond as in the same way you would do normally; it will give a sense of engagement. Take care to avoid excessive or distracting movement
  • Project your voice. Think about timing – don’t speak over the interviewer and ask for clarification if a question is indistinct or interrupted