Virtual interviews

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It is never too early to think about applying for your first job, however the impact of Coronavirus has changed how we operate significantly, including interviews.

The most important thing is to find out what software you will be interviewed on – the most popular choices would be Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype. Make sure to download and set up an account on these platforms ahead of any interviews if you have not done so already.

Things to consider

With this all set up, ready for your interview, here are a few things for you to consider. We would recommend that you organise all of this a few days before the interview so that there are no issues on the day.

  • Clothing – it is often said that when people are in virtual meetings, they only dress the top half of their body, but then accidentally stand up and reveal inappropriate clothing. You want to avoid this scenario so we recommend treating this like an in-person interview and dressing professionally from head-to-toe!
  • Finding the perfect location for the interview – before your interview, we would recommend moving your laptop around the house and testing your surroundings for the perfect virtual interview location. With lighting, ensure the light source is in front of you, and not behind you. Consider what is in the background of you as the interviewer will most likely see this.
  • Avoiding interruptions – find a quiet location where you can conduct the interview uninterrupted. We have all seen the funny videos of cats interrupting virtual meetings by jumping in front of the webcam. You should also ensure your phone is on silent to avoid any unnecessary interruptions.
  • Test your Internet connection and speed – the last thing you want to happen is your Internet not working on that all important day.
  • Test your audio and what source your computer or laptop will pick sound up from – we’ve all been there on a virtual call when someone is talking and no one can hear them. We would  recommend using headphones during the interview so that you can hear the interviewer clearly.
  • Test your webcam – ensure your webcam works and try it with the aforementioned lighting and background, as well as the perfect position for you to sit in for your face and shoulders to be visible.
  • Ensure all other apps on your laptop are closed – keep your  focus on the interview and avoid any unnecessary distractions or pop-ups.
  • Keep notes – make sure to have a notepad and pen to make notes.
  • Keep a drink on hand, as you will be doing a lot of talking.
  • Remain engaged – it can be difficult to keep engaged with a virtual interview, so we would recommend using visual keys to the interviewer to show them that you are engaged and interested in what they are saying (nodding, smiling and hand gestures).
  • Practise a virtual meeting with a friend.

Make sure you go into your interviews confident that you will get the job.

As your union, we are here to support you with advice on the interview process and to help you secure a job.  We also have a dedicated learn team who are on hand to support you with careers development and upskilling. You can find out more about Community Learn here.

If you need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.


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