Virtual Interview Mistakes to Avoid


Dog interrupting a virtual interview

Virtual interviews, while convenient, can be tricky and prone to various mistakes that could negatively impact your impression on potential employers. Avoid these 7 common interview mistakes so you aren’t flustered or stumbling through your virtual face-to-face time:

Poor Technology Setup

Failing to test your internet connection, camera, or microphone beforehand can lead to technical glitches during the interview. Ensure that your technology is functioning correctly to avoid disruptions and delays. Review the meeting software in case it is a platform you don’t commonly use and create an account in advance so you can test it with a friend. Have your phone ready as a backup with the app open or the phone number of the contact ready to dial in case your internet connection fails. 

Unprofessional Background

A messy or distracting background can be off-putting to interviewers. Create a professional setting with a clutter-free, well-lit backdrop to maintain focus on you as the candidate. Paintings and other art can be helpful in creating a sophisticated environment but avoid busy paintings with overly bright colors. While virtual backgrounds can be a good substitute if you don’t have a suitable backdrop, only use if absolutely necessary and select a neutral option. 


Pets, traffic, roommates, neighbors mowing the lawn- any background noise or interruptions can disrupt the flow of the interview. Find a quiet and private space for the duration of the interview.  

Ignoring Time Zones

If you’re interviewing for a position in a different time zone, double-check the interview time and convert it to your local time to avoid scheduling conflicts. 

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Not Dressing Professionally

Dressing casually for a virtual interview can give the impression of unprofessionalism. Dress as if you were attending an in-person interview to show respect for the process and the interviewer. 

Lack of Preparation

Just like in an in-person interview, being unprepared can hurt your chances. Research the organization, position, and potential interview questions to show your enthusiasm and commitment.  

Mid-Interview Mishaps

  • Inadequate Eye Contact: Not maintaining eye contact can give the impression of disinterest or lack of confidence. Remember to look into the camera when speaking rather than at your own image on the screen. In fact, you may consider hiding self view to avoid temptation. 
  • Overlooking Non-Verbal Cues: Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in virtual interviews. Be mindful of your body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures to convey professionalism and engagement. 
  • Over-reliance on Notes: While it’s essential to be prepared, reading extensively from notes during the interview can come across as disengaged and insincere. Use notes sparingly and maintain eye contact as much as possible. 
  • Rambling or Being Overly Brief: Finding the right balance between providing sufficient information and being concise can be challenging. Avoid rambling and stay on point, but also don’t give one-word answers without elaboration. 
  • Talking Over Others: Technical delays can sometimes cause participants to unintentionally talk over each other. Be mindful of this and allow others to finish speaking before you respond. 


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