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Virtual Interviews: The New Reality

Posted by Anna Marie MacDonald on June 22, 2020

Virtual Interviews The New RealityWhile the unemployment rate declined in May, there are still 15.2 million more people who are out of work and actively looking for jobs since February. If you’re a job seeker, that means you’ll most likely be facing increased competition for fewer available positions. Admittedly, not the most encouraging position to be in.Apart from the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on employment, it caused many employers to adopt new technologies and practices for vetting job candidates – including integrating live and on-demand virtual interviews into their hiring processes.

Live vs On-Demand Virtual Interviews

Live virtual interviews are two-way interactions conducted online in real time using virtual meeting or video conferencing software, like Skype, Zoom or GoToMeeting. These are usually scheduled by an employer and may involve more than one person interviewing a candidate (called a panel interview).

An On-Demand/Asynchronous virtual interview is a one-way session in which a candidate records themselves answering a set of interview questions, usually on platforms like HireVue, Jobvite, or Montage. While this allows for flexibility for both the interviewer and interviewee, it doesn’t allow a candidate to interact with their audience by asking questions or reading body language.

Preparing for Your Virtual Interview

Regardless of whether it’s an On-Demand or Live, there are some things to keep in mind before your virtual interview.

First, you want to make sure your space and technology is interview-ready. Technology can be finicky, so test and troubleshoot before your interview. Each platform works a little differently, so familiarize yourself with whatever software you’ll be interviewing on – and, for Pete’s sake, choose a professional screen name that will be easy for the interviewer to recognize. Make sure that your microphone and speakers are working and that your internet connection supports high-quality live video. And, finally, schedule a test call with a friend or family member (bonus if they can conduct a mock interview in the process).

Second, choose your location. Find a quiet room with minimal background noise and no distractions, adequate lighting (preferably natural) and no distractions behind you. Speaking of distractions, make sure your housemates know not to disturb you and shut any pets out of the room. Also, to keep yourself from looking like a creepy shadow silhouette, light should be in front of you, so don’t sit in front of a window or lamp.

Finally, conduct your virtual interview as if you are talking to the interviewer in their office. The same interview techniques and etiquette applies to video interviews.


  • Answer interview questions in the STAR approach.
  • Time yourself!
  • Every action reflects on you: First impression matter.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

We’re Here to Help!

If you want to learn more about navigating this new virtual world of job-hunting, the Goodwill Workforce Connection Centers are an excellent resource for resume writing and interview coaching. And don’t forget to check the Goodwill Workforce Connection Centers Facebook page for live presentations on LinkedIn and The New Virtual World of Interviews.

Written by Anna Marie MacDonald

Anna Marie MacDonald is the Workforce Connection Center (WCC) Manager in Lombard, which supports the Goodwill mission in DuPage County, Illinois. She has been with Goodwill for over four years, and in this role, Anna Marie manages the various on-site and off-site workshops, builds employer and community partnerships, facilitates job clubs at various libraries, assist partners with writing resumes and preparing for job interviews. She has a B.A. in Communication and M. A. in Organizational Leadership/Training and Development.

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