Preparing for a Virtual Interview

It is no secret that our world has become predominantly virtual in all facets. It’s where we conduct our day-to-day business, source our information, and now go through the hiring process. we have all heard the standard tips to prepare for a virtual interview in today’s climate: make sure to get dressed as you would in an office setting, optimize the lighting for your zoom background, and test your Wi-Fi beforehand. These tips, although helpful, are second nature to everyone who has adapted to the virtual world and our new normal. So, what are additional tips that can elevate your baseline knowledge of technology and help you to nail the next virtual interview?

“Upon beginning the interviewing process, it will become evident pretty quickly that each company uses a different video conferencing system. Some examples include: Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet. By familiarizing yourself with the array of platforms and utilizing some of the tips below, you will not be caught off guard by the differentiation in features and can focus your energy on the interview itself.” Says Alyssa Mastrangelo, CSS PSG National Recruiting Director.


Update your Information

It might seem obvious, but your identifying factors should always be clear and professional. It is important to include both your first & last name in your Zoom profile so that interviewers can confirm who is entering the meeting. To update your information, sign into your account, click “profile”, and in the top right corner click “edit” across from your name.

Automate your Audio & Video Settings

When entering your virtual interview, you want to make sure that you are set up for success with no unprecedented noise or people walking by. To avoid this, it is best to automate your settings so that your audio and camera are always off upon entering the meeting. This is especially helpful for interviews since some will require audio only, and others will require both audio as well as video. To do this, select Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when joining a meeting, and then Settings > Video > Turn off my video when joining a meeting.

Microsoft Teams

Blur your Background

Another helpful tip to optimize your virtual interview experience is to blur your background. This again, helps to limit external distractions. In order to blur your background in Microsoft Teams, you must do so before actually entering the meeting. You will see a blur toggle in between the audio and video toggles. Once you put this on, your background will blur while your face stays in focus.

Share your Screen

We are all too familiar with the “can you see my screen” verbiage. However, when it comes to a virtual interview, sharing your screen is an excellent function. You can use it in conjunction while speaking through your resume. This allows for the interviewer to have a visual aid, instead of having them search for your resume in their email.

Google Meet

Maintain Eye Contact

One of the key factors in a great interview is maintaining eye contact. In person, that is rarely an issue. However, in our new virtual setting, people often find themselves looking at themselves in the screen versus the actual webcam. A way to combat this is by placing a sticker above your webcam to redirect your attention. Digital Trends notes that you can also “Prop your camera with a book or purchase a stand to adjust the angle. You could purchase a stand or DIY with what you have at home. Changing the angle can give you better quality.”

Optimize Bandwidth

The last thing you want to deal with during a high stakes interview is audio or visual problems. Using video consumes more bandwidth than other functions, and especially if you are taking an interview outside of your regular Wi-Fi location, you want to conserve that bandwidth. Here are some below tips, specific to Google Meets from Digital Trends

Step 1: Hover over your call window until the call controls start to appear on the top.

Step 2: Click on the cog icon, or the Settings option.

Step 3: A pop-up will appear. At the top, click on the Bandwidth tab.

Step 4: Depending on your camera and internet settings, you’ll want to choose a lower resolution for both outgoing video — which is the video feed of yourself that Hangouts is capturing — and incoming video — or the video feed of other participants in a call. Selecting a higher bandwidth, like choosing HD quality instead of standard definition (SD) quality, will result in a clearer picture.

Everything is virtual so hand written notes take an extra effect!


CSS PSG (Professional Staffing Group) has been a leading provider of contract, temporary, and direct hire solutions. Nationally supporting staffing solutions with a focus in Accounting & Finance, Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, and Call Center & Office. Everyone at CSS operates with pro-active pipelines, the highest business ethics, a winning spirit in our approach, and a team-oriented workflow with real cross-training. The CSS team coaches you with current business intelligence so that we can timely deliver solutions to meet your expectations.

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