How to Prepare to be Interviewed Remotely

Before the interview:

  • Make sure you can open a session on Zoom or whichever video conferencing platform being used, and check that your speakers and mic work.
  • Your web camera should be at eye level, not above or below. If it is built in to your laptop, and your laptop is on your desk, put a few books under the laptop to raise it.
  • Plan to join over computer audio rather than using the dial-in number.
  • Do not wear headphones for the recording, make sure your computer mic picks up good quality audio.
  • Pick a quiet location with good lighting coming from in front of you so there are no shadows on your face.
  • Avoid having a window that brings in bright light behind you, or you will appear as a silhouette.
  • Choose solid-colored clothing that you normally wear to work. Pick a shirt color that stands out from your background. Do not wear plaid, striped or patterned shirts, or anything red, as they will blead and cause videos to be blurry.
  • The interviewer may give you questions ahead of time, but avoid the temptation to write out detailed answers. We want you to sound natural, not scripted.

During the interview:

  • Join the web conference 2 minutes before the scheduled interview time in case it takes a moment or two to log in.
  • Put your phone on silence, and turn off notification sounds on your computer.
  • The interviewer will conduct a sound check and visual check of the video to ensure there is good lighting and camera angle.
  • Avoid making a lot of hand gestures, as there can be lag time with internet connections and the gestures could stutter on the screen.
  • It is OK to look at your notes now and then, but try to look into the camera as much as possible while you’re talking.
  • If you start answering a question and get tongue-tied or just want to start over, no problem, just say “Let me start that over.”
  • If you have colleagues in the interview with you, please put yourself on mute while your colleagues are talking.
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