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Remote job seeking: how to be yourself in a virtual interview

Kaleigh Moore 6 min read
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There was a time when job applicants could rely on face-to-face charm to land a job, but with stay-at-home orders now the norm, one thing is clear: the way companies hire might be forever altered. 

Here at, we certainly know that – with our entire team now working remotely, we have had to adapt our entire HR process to work remotely.

As the interviewee, there are a few things you’ll need to adjust so you can project your authentic self and feel comfortable and confident— even through a screen. 

The good news is that it’s not difficult to build virtual interviewing skills. Whether you’re confident in your abilities or need some tips to boost your performance, this guide will get prepared to overcome the challenges of virtual interviewing so you can go confidently into any interview.  .

What is a virtual interview?

Let’s start with a definition. A virtual or remote interview is a job screening process without a face-to-face meeting wherein the interview is done by phone, by computer, or by video conferencing software. It’s one form of a virtual meeting.

Virtual interviews are more common than you might imagine. Even three years ago, as many as 70% of companies used video interviews in their screening process. And 57% of job candidates actually prefer video interviews over face-to-face interviews.

In other words: your ability to land a job in 2020 may largely depend more on your ability to navigate a webcam than a resume

Here’s how to get started with your preparation for your next virtual interview.

Remote interview tips

As you prepare for your remote interview, here are some tips to keep top-of-mind.

  • Consider how you feel, not how you look
    You’ve probably read a million and a half articles about “dressing for success”, but what you’re wearing says a lot less about you than how you feel in what you’re wearing. If a full suit topped off with bunny slippers makes you feel like a million bucks, we say go for it.
  • Choose a location where you feel confident
    Now more than ever, no one is judging whether the bookshelf behind you is a bit stuffed or there is a stray toy on the floor. What matters is that you pick a space where you know you can be as free from distractions as possible, if that means sitting in your driveway, taking an interview in your car, that’s more than ok as long as you have the space to feel comfortable.
  • Get your hotspot ready
    The importance of Wifi is not to be underestimated. Of course, things happen, and we’ve all gotten frozen in one meeting or another, but a bad internet connection can disrupt the natural flow of an interview. Making sure you test your internet and come prepared with a back-up plan can help curtail any potential internet mishaps during your interview.

What does effective remote interview preparation look like?

Remote interviewees should also be sure to:

  • Conduct a pre-interview Q&A with yourself
    When you’ve got your eye set on a job, it can be difficult to distinguish what you want from what you think they want to hear. Having an honest check-in with yourself can help center you before you start considering the “correct” response.
  • Ask about the things you’re not seeing
    There’s a lot about a company you miss when you don’t get the chance to visit the office. Small indicators like how employees interact with one another and how you are received when you wait for your interview can be deal makers or breakers. You may need to ask additional questions to build a picture of the aspects of the company that you aren’t getting a chance to see.
  • Come curious
    Doing a bit of research on the company can help you ask the right questions. Does the company have a social media presence? Getting a look into the culture of the company can help peak your interest and create questions that may not have otherwise surfaced.

Use typical interview questions as an opportunity to be genuine 

It can be easy to fall down a rabbit hole of Glassdoor questions and pre-interview prep, but it’s important not to lose sight of the goal: to find a good fit for you and the company. By being thoughtful and transparent in response to “typical” interview questions, you can gain a more clear understanding of whether it’s a good fit. 

Let’s look at some examples:

  • “Why do you want to work here?”
    This question is not an invitation to flatter the company— but it is an opportunity to let them know why you took the time to consider them. Was it something in their culture that sparked your interest? What are the things that are important for you in a position and do  you see that represented in the company? They want to hear what is important to you.
  • “What is your greatest weakness?”
    There are answers to this question that aren’t “perfectionism.” Showing that you have given thought to the areas you would like to grow in can set honest and reasonable expectations, prove honesty and humility,  and establish goals for growth in the future. Virtual interview software and equipment.

It’s not difficult to get yourself set up for an interview, as there’s plenty of software available that will make it easy for you to meet with hiring managers. Zoom video conferencing, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams are some of the most common ways to connect when you have a virtual interview coming up.

But what about the physical equipment you’ll need? Consider the following:

  • A webcam. Most computers and laptops these days come with a webcambuilt-inn, but if you don’t have one, you can always buy an inexpensive USB webcam.
  • A microphone. Asking “sorry, what?” after the third time can get a little awkward. Setting yourself up with a USB microphone is easy and  they often perform better than headphones’ built-in microphones.
  • A backdrop. Don’t feel comfortable showing your home in an interview? Pre-setting your video background can make you feel more “in the zone” and ready for your interview from the start. 

Prep for your remote interview like it’s in-person

With a bit of preparation for the online context, treat your virtual interview like you would an interview that’s conducted in-person. Do your best to appear professional, thorough, and honest. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t if you were interviewing in an office or meeting face-to-face. 

With adequate preparation, you’ll have no problem pulling off an interview and finding a position that’s the perfect fit. We recommend using our remote work templates to give yourself a head start.


Kaleigh is an experienced writer on all things SAAS at She is a Forbes + Vogue Business retail contributor on her free time.
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