We know that job interviews can be challenging for some. To make it easier on yourself, and to help calm those pre-match nerves, make sure you prep beforehand, researching the organisation you’re applying to (you should already know that it matches your values) to give you a confidence boost on interview day.

Many organisations had to adapt to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic by updating their recruitment processes and shifting to virtual job interviews. We did too, and found that holding our interviews virtually, rather than in-person, worked out better for our candidates as it was more convenient for them to fit their interview around any existing commitments.

Of course, there are still some grey areas when it comes to virtual interview etiquette and how best to prepare for one, so we’ve come up with five short top tips for before the day of the interview, and another five for on the day.


Before the day of the interview:

1. Think about the space you’ll be in and any background sound

When thinking about where you’ll be sitting when you attend your virtual interview, it’s important to work with the space you’ve got and make the most of it. Consider what’s around you and any potential background noise.

It’s a good idea to place your device on a flat surface such as a table or desk and sit on a comfortable seat. For maximum comfort, ensure that the screen is eye-level, or slightly below, and that you have enough room to move in and out of your given space.

You should consider where you are situated and if there is any repeated background noise which may be disruptive to you during your interview. If you live in shared accommodation, it may be worth just letting others know at what time and in which room you’re planning to have your interview, to minimise any disruption. If both are unavoidable, don’t worry, but it may be worth informing your potential future employer in advance.

When you’re thinking about a designated space to place your device, check your surroundings. Go for plain, neutral backgrounds wherever possible and move any items or objects that you can out of your camera display or blur the background if you really can’t get away from having your bed behind you. Although you may be restricted for space, you may be able to resolve such issues by slightly adjusting the angle or position of your device.


2. Check your lighting

Your interviewers will want to see your face clearly and this will help to make a meaningful connection. First, check the screen brightness on your device settings to ensure that you can see the screen clearly. Then, open your web camera and check that you can see your face clearly. If your face appears too dark in the camera display, adjust your lights, curtains, and/or blinds and see if this makes a difference. Adjusting the angle or position of the camera may help to resolve any lighting issues.

3. Test the tech

It’s essential that you ensure that your device and any links you have been sent are working. Click through any links or digital content at the first opportunity you get to make sure they’re all working and are compatible with the device you’re using. If you’re in any doubt, it’s always good practice to get in touch with the person who sent you the materials for help or clarification.

At this stage, you should ensure that you have an account with the platform on which your interview will be held, whether it be Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or something else. If you’re using a tablet device, download the relevant app and sign in as soon as you can. If you’re registering for an account for the first time, you should sign up using the email address that you gave when submitting your application, so your interviewers can easily identify you. Try and do all this at least a day before so it’s one fewer thing to have to do on the day!

4. Review your display name on the interview platform

Once you’re signed into the interview platform, review your display name. Make sure that you change it to your full name so that you appear professional, and your interviewers can easily identify you.


5. Check your camera display – Does it work?

And while you’re on the platform, check your camera display. Does everything work? If your camera doesn’t show up, it’s most likely because you have another application, programme, or website open that’s using your camera. Close that down, then try to launch your camera again. If issues continue, head to the FAQs of the relevant platform for support.


On the day of the interview:

1. Dress the part

For most interviews, you’d be asked to wear smart clothing, so this should also be the case for a virtual interview. By dressing smartly, you’ll let your interviewers know that you are a professional individual before you even say anything.

2. Get any preparatory tasks at the ready

Prior to the interview, you may have been asked to prepare tasks to present to the panel of interviewers. Ensure that any notes or materials are open on your device and that you’re ready to screen share, if necessary. Most employers will also allow you to bring bullet point notes to interviews for a prompt, so it’s worth checking with them if you would like this option.

3. Close any irrelevant tabs

Whilst opening your relevant interview materials, close any irrelevant tabs and applications. This will make your internet speed faster and if you need to share your screen during the interview, you’ll avoid sharing anything that is not relevant to the role you’re applying for.

4. Review our five ‘Before the day’ steps

At this point, you should be prepared to give a great interview. Reviewing the five steps that you will have already gone through before the day of your interview will help to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Good luck!

5. Be punctual

Lateness without a reasonable explanation will mean that a potential future employer may question your professionalism and commitment to the role. Moreover, if they’re holding multiple interviews on that day, this may have a knock-on effect on the rest of the interviews, or they may not be able to accommodate you.

Our advice is to log on ten minutes early to review our ‘Before the day’ interview steps, then click to join the interview room five minutes early.


These tips should help you feel more at ease when it comes to the logistics and the tech side of a virtual interview, but you might want to also know some tips on how to succeed in the role-play part of our interview.