How to Avoid Costly Mistakes in Virtual Interviews 

We live in a post-pandemic world, and job seekers have had to adapt to a new way of job searching, including how they prepare for and participate in interviews. Since the pandemic, many companies have used virtual interviews, and Teams and Zoom interviews appear to be here to stay.

According to a recent survey of employers by TopResume, the world’s largest resume-writing service, job candidates are making huge mistakes when interviewing virtually.

Here are the top five virtual interview deal-breakers that could cost you the job:

  1. Avoiding eye contact or staring into space
  2. Sitting in a messy room
  3. Leaving inappropriate tabs or apps open when screen-sharing
  4. Using an unprofessional background
  5. Being interrupted by the candidate’s family members


Now that you know the mistakes made in virtual interviews, here’s what you can do to improve your interview experience:

  1. Make eye contact and focus on the interview

Employers were most concerned about a job candidate’s lack of focus and eye contact during virtual interviews. The best course of action is to concentrate on the interview because you want to avoid coming across as uninterested or distracted. Whether in person or online, maintaining eye contact is crucial. Close unnecessary tabs, turn off notifications, and keep your phone away from the interview area as you focus on your device’s camera. If you’re using your phone during the virtual interview, put it on silent.

  1. Organize your interview space

Even before you’re hired, your first impression matters. Clutter in your virtual interview space can be a distraction for both you and the interviewer. You want your prospective employer to know that you care about your appearance and workplace. Make sure to clean up your surroundings so everything in your video conferencing app view is clean. You don’t want clothes and food all over the place.

  1. Have relevant tabs or apps open when screen-sharing

Potential employers want a well-rounded view of your work experience. Make the most of your virtual interview by showcasing some of your best work. When sharing your screen, have relevant tabs open. Having those tabs ready before the interview will be helpful. You don’t want to have activities and interests you do outside of work on display.

  1. Use a professional background

Playing with background filters might be entertaining, but you should avoid using a distracting backdrop while participating in virtual interviews. Choose a neutral background or none at all. Most video conferencing applications enable you to blur your background, which may reduce distractions during the interview. Ensure the area is also well-lit when conducting your virtual interview.

  1. Alert friends and family that you’re interviewing 

If you’re interviewing in a space where others will be around, let them know in advance that you are on a job interview. You don’t want them walking into your interview area or making noises. Emergencies do happen, but the fewer interruptions, the better.

The purpose of any interview is to maximize your chances of getting the job. Put your best foot forward, whether your interview is in person or virtual. It could lead to your next opportunity.


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