Virtual Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

Staging your background and tweaking the lights are just a few of the important steps you must take to make your live video interview an internet sensation.

Virtual interviewing is becoming more popular among hiring managers. It is cost effective and provides another screening avenue for the employer. It is also another way for the candidate to impress a potential employer with their technology skills. Knowing how to overcome virtual interviewing barriers can be a first step toward landing your leading role as a teacher. Use the following tips to prepare for your video debut.

Lights: Before the Interview


Similar to your email address listed on your r e s u m e , y o u r v i d e o us er name s hould be professional. For example, your first name and last name serve as a safe us er name. Your professional username should be reserved for business use only to limit dis tractions while interviewing.

Internet Connection

Before your interview, locate an interviewing space that has strong signal strength. Having a weak Internet connection can cause the video to become choppy and the audio distorted.

Technical  Difficulties

Prior to the interview test your microphone and camera. Consider purchasing or renting a headset microphone. Using the microphone inside your computer can make you sound distant. Having a headset controls the volume. If using a laptop, make sure the laptop is connected to an electric outlet. Video calls can drain the battery faster than normal, and you do not want your battery to die during your interview.

Camera: On-Screen Presence


Choose a location with a clear background. A lot of activity going on in the background can be distracting to the interviewer. For example, if you have clutter as your background, the interviewer could assume that you are unorganized or believe that you will have an unorganized classroom. Do not interview with a window or mirror behind you.


Lighting is important during virtual interviews. Make sure that the room is not too dark; likewise, avoid harsh, bright lights that wash out your facial features. Aim for lighting that does not cast shadows on your face. The best lighting is either beside you or in front of you; do not set up lighting behind you. Try a variety of lighting during a test run before the interview to determine what arrangement works well.

Dress Professionally

Even though your interview is not in person, professional dress is still required. Try different outfits. What may look good in person has a different look on camera. Stay away from patterns and colors that match your background as it will cause you to disappear into the scenery. Whether this is your first impression with the dis trict or your las t impression, make it your best impression!

Action: During the Interview

Keep Other Programs Closed

While waiting for your interview to begin it can be tempting to open another program or use a chat function in video programming software. Refrain from participating in these activities as the employer will be able to hear the notifications should they arise during the interview.

Online Materials

Unlike an on-site interview, you will be unable to use a portfolio to provide examples. Consider creating a digital portfolio that you can use to display your experience during the interview.

Look at the Camera

Similar to an on-site interview, eye contact is important during a virtual interview. Look at the camera and not the screen. When looking at the screen, it can appear as if you are not looking at the interviewer. Lacking eye contact shows a lack of confidence.

AUTHOR: Tradara McLaurine is the Assistant Director of the Indiana State University Career Center, Terre Haute, Indiana. She oversees four internship scholarship programs, student employment programs, and she serves as the Career Liaison for the Bayh College of Education. McLaurine is a graduate from Indiana State University with bachelor degrees in Accounting and Legal Studies and a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education.