3 Tips for Virtual Interview Success

Written By: Kimberly Embick, University Recruiter 

As a University Field Recruiter, when I am not on a college campus speaking with students, I work from home in my “cloffice” (Closet turned office – Google it – it’s a thing). If you are on the hunt for a new job and suddenly find yourself interviewing from home, I am here to help.  

Not only has the global COVID-19 outbreak affected thousands of employees worldwide, but the landscape of job searching has also been drastically altered. Just like the associates find themselves working remotely, candidates are now confined to their homes while speaking to potential employers and marketing themselves as ideal hires.

Below are my 3 tips for virtual interview success.

1. Pre-Interview Checklist – Similar to a “pre-flight” checklist that ensures success for pilots, pre-planning the logistics of a virtual interview are vital to you! Some things to consider:

  • Choose a space for the interview (Free from background noise, away from others in your residence and with good cell reception if using a phone)
  • Verify ALL technology and practice using it (There’s nothing worse than attempting to log on 5 minutes before an interview to find you must download something.)
  • Check your lighting for video interviews – (Although you may be “angelic”, light halos can be distracting; You’ll also want to avoid bright background lighting that washes out your face. The interviewer needs to see your facial expressions.)
  • Communicate with your interviewer to create a back-up plan if there is a technology fail

2. Act the part – Remember that you are still selling yourself to a potential employer. Although it may seem appealing to sit at home relaxed, you need to make the effort to put your best foot – and face – forward while in the job search process. Here are several ways to help showcase yourself virtually:

  • Develop a routine that includes time to “get ready” for your interview
  •  Dress for the interview (No need for a three-piece suit on a phone call however your attire affects your attitude – save the joggers and ripped hoodie for later. Opt for “real” clothes.)
  • Compile all needed information as you would for an in-office meeting (Paper copy of resume – don’t rely on digital copies.)
  • Be enthusiastic – This is a REAL interview – Your excitement about the company needs to come through the phone or video screen.
  • Make eye contact with the camera during video conferences. (Avoid multitasking and look at the camera as if you were looking at the person’s face.)

3. Embrace your virtual world – Engage with others in this new virtual networking/interviewing format. Be innovative and creative with networking. Here are a few tips: 

  • Communicate often with your classmates, peers, career services and professors. Ask what events they are attending, hosting or know about. Be brave and ask for connections/meetings
  •  Proactively use LinkedIn to find and create networking opportunities. Comment on company/recruiter posts to begin building a relationship
  • Watch LinkedIn Live events from companies in which you are interested – Gartner hosts several a month! Check them out here.

The current world situation is unprecedented and your individual circumstances may be less than ideal. With a little ingenuity and these tips, you too can figure it out. Be productive and find the next step in your career journey. 


At Gartner, our associates strive to do their best work for their clients, teammates and themselves. Learn more about our culture here.

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