As many job seekers today are surely noticing, virtual interviews are almost as common as inperson these days. While some may feel relief at the idea of interviewing while still sitting in their own home, there are certain aspects to optimize. As a Technical Recruiter, I prepare my candidates before their interview to set them up for success. I have put together a valuable list that will prepare you for your next virtual interview to ensure that you can make a great first impression. 

  • Test Your Equipment Beforehand 

    Nothing screams unprepared like a camera or microphone that isn’t working. This is one of the biggest obstacles candidates face that prevents them from moving forward in the interview process. While sometimes these issues are unavoidable, testing your tech before the interview can prevent most technical dilemmas. Logging on at least 5 minutes early to ensure everything is functioning properly can be a huge help. Teams and Zoom both have regular updates that can take up to 5-10 minutes to complete, it is important to check that your applications are up to date well before the interview starts. In addition, using a headset with a microphone can help improve audio quality and make it easier for both parties to hear each other. It also helps to reduce background noise. 

  • Proper Lighting and Background 

    A huge part of getting to know someone is seeing them face to face. In a remote role, this is obviously not always an option. The next best thing is to ensure that you present yourself on camera as clearly and professionally as possible. Ways to do this include tidying up your background (nothing says unprofessional like a pile of clutter) and making sure you have appropriate lighting. Natural light is always better than artificial light, and it is an advantage if it is in front of you and not shining from behind. If you are hesitant about your background, Microsoft Teams offers a blur option to help give you a cleaner look.  

  • Dress to Impress 

    An advantage to a virtual interview is that you don’t have to get dressed up, right? Wrong! Although the interviewer typically won’t see anything from the midsection down, it is important to dress and groom yourself the way you would for an in-person interview.  Looking professional will show the hiring manager that you are taking the interview seriously, despite not even having to leave the house for it.  

  • Know Who You are Speaking With  

    It goes without saying that connecting online is much different (and harder) than in-person. Especially since most interviews only give you no more than an hour to get to know your interviewer and allow them to know you. Before going into the call, search for the people you are speaking with. Great resources to use are LinkedIn the company’s website. Understanding who you are speaking to can promote that human connection as well as make you, as the interviewee, more comfortable. 

  • Have Questions Prepared 

    One of the most important parts of an interview is connection with the hiring manager. However, as stated previously, this can be difficult without being physically together. Making sure you are prepared to ask your own questions about the role can show your interviewer that you are interested in the role, an engaging communicator despite the boundary of screens. There’s no shame in prepping your questions before, as well as allowing for new ones to come up as you are discussing. Don’t forget to review the job description, explore the company website, and write down notes and questions that you have during the interview.  


Finally, remember to be yourself during the interview. Even though you are not in the same room as the interviewer, you still want to come across as professional and personable. Smile, make eye contact, and be confident in your responses. We hope these tips will help prepare you for your next virtual interview. Good luck! 

Kevin Killingsworth
Kevin KillingsworthSr. Recruiter