Job Seekers: Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviewing has become more and more popular in the past few years, and now, with the obvious COVID-19 pandemic, it has become the new normal. So, as a jobseeker, how should you prepare to interview over the computer? What is different? ITAC recruiters gave us their advice when it comes to virtual interviewing.

Main Differences in Virtual Versus In-Person Interviews

“It is important to remember that it is still the potential first and only impression the team will have, so you want to make it count. Virtual interviewing allows you to focus on the important things, like the position, the company, who you’re working with, expectations, etc., instead of worrying about how long it will take to get ready, getting there, getting checked in, etc.

Virtual interviews allow more candidates to take interviews during the workday. They can easily set up and log in during a lunch break to meet with a manager, instead of taking PTO, or worrying if anyone will find out. While there are some factors of an in-person that virtual will never replace, it does eliminate a lot of the smaller considerations and allows a candidate to truly focus on perfecting the interview and learning more about the possible job and career advancement.” – Sydney

What to Wear

“I always advise my candidates to wear exactly what they would to an in-person interview, from hair to shoes.  I also make suggestions based on the individual client’s culture/expectation. Wearing your business attire up top and sweatpants on the bottom (even though the interviewer would never know), is just not the same! When you look good, you feel confident. And even though the interview is at home over video, be sure to still prepare a notebook and pen with a few questions.”  – Sydney

Where to be

“As for location, you want to choose somewhere quiet, with good lighting in a room free of distractions (kids, pets, etc.). I always encourage the job seeker to show interest through their voice, as well as being attentive to the video. Don’t be anything other than yourself, but keep these things in mind:

  • Good lighting, natural lighting if possible (facing a window), avoid overhanging lights or a spotlight that cast shadows.
  • Strong internet/Wi-Fi.
  • Non-distracting background/backdrop
  • Whether using a phone or laptop, understand where the camera is on your device. Do a practice run-through. Understand how to start and stop your audio and camera.”  - Morgan

Handling a Glitch

“Technical glitches happen. It is unavoidable sometimes on both ends, and most managers/candidates are understanding in those situations. If it can be fixed quickly, just move on and keep the interview going as planned. If technical issues are causing a distraction or overall communication issues, it is best to reschedule to a later date.” – Meg

“I always recommend being ready about 15 minutes beforehand and go ahead and have your computer on, plugged into the charger and ready to go. Check the camera and your lighting to make sure they work and have the link to the meeting pulled up and ready to start.

As for glitches or a lost connection, I recommend trying to log out and back in, and if that does not work to call your ITAC recruiter ASAP so we can reach out to the manager on your behalf.”  - Sydney

“If the candidate is not sure about their internet reliability, sometimes the recruiter will do a run-through with them to make sure they have found a good spot that has strong service as well as good lighting/backdrop. This also helps them practice when to turn on the audio/video control. You do not want to turn on the audio and then be fumbling around trying to turn on the camera. Practice. Practice. Practice!”              – Morgan

Would you like to initiate a conversation with an ITAC recruiter about finding a new job? Start by checking out all job openings with our clients (and some with ITAC) here!


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