In today’s job seeking marketplace, Zoom/Virtual interviews are now very popular for initial rounds of interviews and to be honest it can be a very unnerving experience, especially if you have never done it before.

Here are some very quick and simple rules when being asked to have a “virtual” interview

  1. Dress to impress: make sure what the interviewer can see is smart and tidy, so basically from the waist up, appear smart, does not matter what you wear from the waist down, but please make sure that you are sat down during the whole interview, standing up and showing your boxers can be a bit off putting, and what has been seen cannot be unseen.
  2. Check behind you: I had a virtual interview with a candidate, and OK, he was living in the block, and being ex-military, some of the posters behind him were not a problem to me, but it can be off putting to some people. I also heard of a chap who was a Chelsea supporter, but the guy interviewing him was an Arsenal fan and he did not get the job and we are not sure if it was because of the poster or something else – play it safe.
  3. Lighting: please make sure that you are facing your light source and not sitting in front of it, as your face will appear in shadow, and will be very difficult to see, just a small issue, but people like seeing each other’s expressions.
  4. Noises: the other day, I was in a conference call, and someone’s phone went off, and their phone was not muted, and we had the theme song of the “stripper” go off during the meeting, not so bad, but the young lady who was speaking was very embarrassed when she heard the music, so mute your phone and anything else that may go off.
  5. Interruptions: we have all seen it on the news, kids, pets etc, suddenly appearing in the video. I have a 14 month puppy, nice yes, but he currently comes in at 40kg plus, and during one call he wanted to climb into my lap and his big feet connected with my groin…. to be honest, I was not really concentrating on the conversation for a few moments for the obvious reasons. Try to keep interruptions to an absolute minimum.
  6. Smoking/Vaping: would you do this in his office if you were face to face? People have done it, and it is very off putting and bad manners.
  7. Drinking: having a sip of coffee or water is ok, especially if you will be speaking for a period of time, just make sure that if you are using a coffee cup or glass, it’s not offensive or too quirky, again this has been commented on in various platforms etc.

I hope that this helps you folks, the best rule to go by is imagine you are sitting in front of the interviewer at their office/location, and act accordingly.

Best of luck and hope things go well for you.