Tips for Virtual Interviews

The sun is shining, Spring has sprung, and you – you are stuck in your house in accordance with government recommendation during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Like many others, you are adapting to a whole new set of norms. However, during this transition, there is no need to leave your career goals behind. Below, check out some tips on how to shift your mindset and optimize your job search during this unprecedented time in history.


Most recently, you may have been invited into an office to conduct an interview with either a Recruiter or a Manager. With many employers directing their staff to work remotely or exercising precautions with social distancing, you will now likely be interviewed by phone or video.  

Recruiting has to rely on technology or phone to complete the interview process. They may request you get on a video platform like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. They may ask you to record answers to questions or do a real-time virtual interview, where you will be having a conversation with someone over streaming video. Here are some tips to make this the best experience it can be: 

  • Access the platform prior to the interview to troubleshoot the software and finetune your camera and microphone.
  • Find the camera and position yourself so your eyes are level with it. Try to look at the camera, not at your face or even the face of the interviewer. 
  • Dress for success. From head to toe, wear that interview suit with confidence. Your presentation still matters even if they can only see part of you, and dressing the part can make you feel prepared and ready.
  • Determine the quietest area of your home to take the interview. School closings mean that may be easier said than done, so ask your family (even young children) for help creating an atmosphere where you can concentrate.
  • Do you have headphones with a microphone? In this circumstance, it is appropriate to wear those during your virtual interview to block outside noise.
  • Don’t get flustered if you’re interrupted. The recruiter or hiring manager might be experiencing the same situation, so simply apologize and keep going.
  • Rehearse your answers ahead of time so you can appear comfortable on camera. Try to keep the interview conversational – remember, you’re making a relationship with your interviewer.
  • Smile, especially in a phone interview. It makes a difference!
  • Be sure to send a thank you email. You won’t be able to mail a thank you card, as the recruiter is likely working remotely. Do not ask for their home address – just send them a personalized, warm thank you email and follow up a week or two later to reiterate your interest in the position.

Recognize that these are special circumstances and factor that into every step of the recruitment process. Interview and hiring processes may be longer, budgets may be impacted, and processes may be changed. Stay agile and stay positive!


When you become a student at Peirce College, you have access personalized career counseling through our Center for Career and Professional Development. Get more career tips.

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