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Practical pointers - Virtual/online interviews

Many of the tips in the previous section also apply to virtual (online) interviews. But virtual interviews bring some additional challenges, and while you won’t need to worry about car parking, there are some other things to plan for:

  • Find out what the preferred video calling platform is for your interviewer - this will normally be MS Teams in HEE but alternatives such as Zoom, or FaceTime may also be used. Make sure you are comfortable with using that platform and its features.
  • Will it be both audio and visual or audio only? If visual, make sure you are in smart business attire just as if you were attending an interview in person
  • Make sure you have a good internet connection and stable internet as far as possible. Test it in advance.
  • Ensure you have a clear and neutral background. It’s probably best to put on a simple background effect: most applications have these. You don’t want laundry hanging in the background!
  • Ensure the lighting is adequate, with no glare or casting you in shadow. You want the interviewers to be able to see you.
  • For all these reasons, it’s best to do this in a place where you won’t be disturbed or overheard – a coffee shop is probably not a good idea.
  • Get in the right headspace just as with a physical interview. Avoid interruptions, warn your family you must not be disturbed, keep your phone on silent, and give the interviewers your undivided attention
  • Have a Plan B for internet network failure, e.g., arrange in advance that you have exchanged mobile phone numbers so if your Wi-Fi does go down, you can at least still proceed with a telephone interview.