What is a virtual interview? A glimpse into the new normal.

June 6, 2023

    Virtual interviews

    What is a virtual interview?

    A virtual interview is a type of job interview that is conducted remotely, typically using video conferencing software. With the rise of remote work and the COVID-19 pandemic, video interviews have become increasingly common. They are often used by companies to screen candidates before inviting them for an in-person interview.

    What platforms can virtual interviews be conducted on?

    Virtual interviews can be conducted using a variety of tools, including:

    • Teams
    • Zoom
    • Skype
    • Google Meet
    • Webex

    What are the advantages of virtual interviewing?

    Virtual interviews offer several advantages over traditional in-person interviews, such as:

    • Convenience: Virtual interviews can be conducted from anywhere with an internet connection, making them more convenient for both the interviewer and interviewee.
    • Cost-effectiveness: Virtual interviews eliminate the need for travel, which can be expensive for both parties.
    • Time-saving: Virtual interviews can be scheduled more quickly than in-person interviews, as there is no need to coordinate travel arrangements.
    • Flexibility: Virtual interviews can be conducted outside of normal business hours, making them more accessible to candidates who are currently employed.

    What are the disadvantages of virtual interviewing?

    While virtual interviews offer many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider, including:

    • Technical difficulties: Virtual interviews rely on technology, which can sometimes be unreliable. Technical difficulties such as poor internet connection or software malfunctions can disrupt the interview.
    • Lack of personal interaction: Virtual interviews lack the personal interaction that comes with an in-person interview, which can make it more difficult to build rapport with the interviewer.
    • Distractions: Virtual interviews can be more prone to distractions, as the interviewee may be in a location with more potential distractions than an interview room.

    How should candidates prepare for a virtual interview?

    When it comes to virtual interviews, preparation is key. Here are some tips to help candidates get ready for a virtual interview.

    Schedule a convenient time:

    One of the benefits of virtual interviews is that they can be more flexible than in-person interviews. However, it's still important for candidates to schedule their interview at a time when they can be fully present and focused. Candidates should:

    • Choose a time when then can be in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
    • Make sure that they have a reliable internet connection and the necessary technology to conduct the interview (e.g. webcam, microphone, etc.).
    • Test equipment beforehand to ensure everything is working properly.
    • Be on time for the interview, just as a candidate would for an in-person interview.

    Eliminate distractions:

    When it comes to virtual interviews, distractions can be a major issue. To minimise distractions, candidates should:

    • Choose a location that is quiet and free from distractions.
    • If a candidate lives with other people, let them know that they will be in an interview and ask them to avoid interrupting.
    • Close any unnecessary tabs or applications on their computer to avoid distractions.
    • Consider using headphones to help block out any background noise.

    By following these tips, candidates can help ensure that their virtual interview goes smoothly and that they make a great impression on their interviewer.

    What interviewers should consider when conducting a virtual interview

    Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular in the modern era of remote work and social distancing. Conducting virtual interviews can save time and money, while also allowing for a wider pool of candidates to be considered. Here are some important considerations when conducting virtual interviews:

    Virtual interview questions

    An important aspect of conducting virtual interviews is the interview questions themselves. While many of the same questions used in in-person interviews can be used in virtual interviews, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind.

    For example, it may be more difficult for interviewers to:

    • Read body language
    • Assess other nonverbal cues
    • Maintain eye-contact (first time webcam users may find this difficult)
    • Hear an answer due to poor connectivity 
    • See how the candidate is dressed and presents themselves
    • Maintain a natural flow in the conversation

    It is also important to consider the format of the interview questions. Some options include:

    • Structured interviews: where all candidates are asked the same set of questions
    • Semi-structured interviews: where some questions are pre-determined, but others are improvised based on the candidate's responses
    • Unstructured interviews: where there is no set list of questions, and the interviewer relies on their own judgement to guide the conversation

    Whichever format is chosen, it is important to ensure that the questions are relevant to the position being filled and that they provide a clear picture of the candidate's qualifications and experience.

    How has COVID-19 impacted traditional interviews?

    Virtual interviews have become an essential tool for employers and job seekers alike in the age of COVID-19. The pandemic has forced many companies to adopt remote hiring practices.  

    Virtual interviews allow employers to conduct job interviews without the need for physical interaction, which has become increasingly important in the age of social distancing. The use of virtual interviews can save time and money on travel expenses. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that virtual interviews will become even more prevalent in the job market.


    Overall, virtual interviews are a convenient and cost-effective way to assess a candidate's suitability for a job. While they do have some disadvantages, these can be mitigated with careful planning and preparation.

    This post was written by: Alicia Edwards, Digital Marketing Assistant