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How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

by Chris Barrow
and Anna Shepherd


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First stage virtual interviews have become the go to for the majority of organisations making communication and flexibility easier than ever before, whilst virtual interviews can be daunting to some, with proper preparation and mindset, you can be successful and leave a lasting impression. Tile Hill’s Anna Shepherd and Chris Barrow share some of their essential tips to help you succeed.

Virtual interviews are an opportunity for employers to gauge how you’d perform in a hybrid or remote work setting, so maintaining a distraction-free environment is crucial. Below are some tips and advice to ensure your equipment and environment are ready for you to have a successful interview.

The Basics

  • Webcam set-up: Position your webcam at eye level.
  • Charged laptop: Ensure your laptop is fully charged or plugged in.
  • Quiet room: Choose a quiet, well-lit room without distractions.
  • WiFi connection: Check that your internet connection is stable.
  • Lighting: Make sure your face is well-lit, ideally with natural light coming from in front.
  • No distractions: Keep children and pets out of the room.
  • Focus on the screen: Look at the screen where your interviewer’s face appears, not the camera.
  • Notifications: Turn off all notifications on your devices.
  • No back-to-back meetings: Avoid scheduling meetings immediately before or after your interview to stay focused.

Virtual Interview Etiquette
Confidence and professionalism are key:

  • Camera presence: Speak confidently and maintain engagement with the interviewer/s.
  • Virtual background: If using one, ensure it looks professional. A professional virtual allows the interviewer to focus on you and your responses instead of getting distracted by a cluttered, noisy or entertaining background.
  • Dress professionally: Wear something that makes you feel both comfortable and confident.
  • Let the interviewers lead: Allow them to start the conversation. Brief pauses can help account for any lag and give you time to think.
  • Clarify when needed: If you’re unsure about a question, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

If you’re concerned about your setup or not sure if your connection is the best, let your consultant know. At Tile Hill we offer test runs in advance of the day to make sure you can be confident going into your virtual interview.

Adjustments for EDI
Discuss any necessary adjustments with your consultant to ensure a smooth interview experience. Being honest about your needs helps us to ensure that you can perform at your best. In a recent article we discussed candidates' specific needs during the recruitment process.
Read ‘
You At Your Best - Reasonable Adjustments in the Recruitment Process here. 

Technical Backup Plan
When having a virtual interview and dealing with technology there is always the possibility of technical issues. However, don’t panic if something goes wrong; being prepared will help you stay calm. Have your consultant’s contact information handy in case of technical issues. 

During the Interview

  • Concise answers: Keep your responses focused on the questions. For more information on how to frame your answers, check out our blog ‘’STAR – How to frame your answers.”
  • Read body language: Pay attention to the interviewer’s cues. If they seem ready to move on, wrap up your point confidently.
  • Posture: Favour open poses vs closed. Ensure your gesture is more expansive and therefore expressive. Don't cross your arms, slump in your chair, or look down/away.
  • Gesture: Your hands are what you use to paint the picture of what you are saying. Use them well and the message will land. Hide them in pockets, under tables, clasped across you or holding notes, and you look less confident and less prepared.
  • Voice: Working with intention to bring colour to your voice. To maximise your breath, and thus your voice and consequently your impact, you should strive to fill your lungs all the way down.
  • Smile: The easiest one of all, but often one people forget in an interview setting.
  • Confidence: Avoid undermining your responses with phrases like "I hope that answers the question" or "Does that make sense?" Silence following a response is okay; it increases the impact of what you have said and shows you are confident and composed. 

Show Passion and Personality
Express your enthusiasm for the role and share a bit of your personality while remaining professional. Remember, the interview is a two-way street; you’re assessing the organisation as much as they are assessing you.

Preparation is Key

  • Research the company thoroughly: Research as you would for an in-person interview. Don't try to fit the preparation into a busy schedule; dedicate time to prepare properly.
  • Why this role?: Be clear about why you want the job and what you can bring to the table.
  • Career experiences: Have examples of your previous experiences ready to discuss.
  • Housekeeping and due diligence questions: Be prepared to discuss notice periods, salary expectations, location, other roles you’re applying for, and due diligence questions (i.e. any potential conflicts of interest, anything in the press that would bring reputational risk to the organisation etc.).  

By following these guidelines, you can approach your virtual interview with confidence and peace of mind knowing that you are fully prepared and increase your chances of making a great impression. As always, Tile Hill is here to help you succeed. If you have any questions or concerns always reach out to your consultant.

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