Interviewing for Success in a Virtual World

Looking for help preparing for a virtual interview?

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for 30 years. We coach our clients that the objective of interviews is to move to the next step in the process and ultimately get an offer. It is wonderful to be getting a lot of interviews, but if none of them are turning into offers, you should review your approach.

The use of videoconferencing technology for virtual job interviews has become very common over the past couple of years due to the pandemic. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shared that recent survey results suggest the practice has become a part of the hiring process for good. Per SHRM, “A recent poll of 1,100 U.S. employers conducted by Indeed found that 82 percent of respondents said they adopted virtual interviews for candidates because of the pandemic, and nearly all—93 percent—expect to continue to use virtual interviews in the future.

Another survey from recruiting software provider Jobvite found that 61 percent of surveyed recruiters said the hiring process will be a combination of virtual and in person going forward, while 22 percent said they plan to conduct all-virtual hiring.”

As part of your interview prep, you should not only research the company, the individual(s) you will be speaking to and plan your answers ahead of time, but also consider the additional best practices below for successful virtual meetings.

  1. Consider your environment. Have a clean, uncluttered and simple background. HBR shared that their research showed recruiters preferred virtual backgrounds of office settings. Also, ensure you have good lighting and your head and shoulders are captured in your video. Make sure you have a strong internet connection to avoid interruptions.
  • Preparation. Not only must you prepare for questions, but also prepare for possible home interruptions. Let your family know you will be interviewing. Practice your answers to typical questions and potential objections interviewers may have. Try out your technology beforehand with a friend or family member.
  • Dress and look professional. Treat the virtual interview the same as an in-person meeting. If business attire would be required, you should dress appropriately.
  • Look into your webcam. Making eye contact is the first step to building trust with the interviewer. Although it’s tempting to look at your reflection, stay focused on looking straight ahead at the webcam and try to frame yourself in a way so your head and top of your shoulders dominate the screen.
  • Stay calm. Strive to stay calm and engaging with the interviewer. Prepare relevant questions to not only help you gain insights on the role and company, but also avoid monologuing. Try to find common interests you can use to connect.

As you prepare, think through the answers to potential interview questions. We’ve listed 5 below with suggested answers.

  1. Tell me about yourself. Still a popular question that kicks off most interviews. You want to be prepared to summarize your work experience and education including one of your strengths and what you are looking for as it pertains to the role you are interviewing for. First impressions happen fast, so you want to nail this question!
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses? A dreaded question by some, but again still popular with interviewers. Start with a strength that matches the interviewer’s needs. Give an example of how you have used this strength and identify how this benefited the company. Then briefly state a professional skill you have been working on improving. It isn’t necessary to give an example, but you might want to provide specifics on what you are doing to improve this weakness.
  3. Why did you leave (are you looking to leave) your job? State why you are unemployed or looking to leave in a positive context. Never put down your current or previous employer. We recommend you start with a positive statement about your past role, then why you are leaving and finally where you are headed connected to the role you are interviewing for.
  4. What has been your most significant achievement? Choose an achievement that shows how you positively affected your last company. Choose examples that are relevant to the role you are interviewing for when possible. Be prepared to speak to specific qualitative and quantitative results.
  5. Why do you want to work here? From your research identify why you want to work at the company and what you offer. Companies like to hire employees that want to work for them!

Preparation is the key to doing well in interviews virtually and in-person. Since virtual interviews are likely here to stay for many companies, ensuring you are able to connect in this format will be very important.

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. If you would like more information on our services please check out our website at or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at