In the current Covid-19 situation, it is likely that you will have to do a web based job interview, if you have been successful with a job application.  This can seem quite daunting if you’ve never done a web interview before, but if you prepare well, an on-line interview can be just as effective as an in-person interview.

We hope that the hints and tips below will help you to be prepared and ready to do a good online interview.  If you need any help or advice, or if you would like to do a mock interview to test your technique, please contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club at [email protected] or on 086 306 2510.

Before the interview…

Make sure that you have your technology ready and that you’ve tested it to make sure everything works smoothly. Don’t try it for the first time 5 minutes before your interview time!


The employer will advise on what software to use. The most popular software used for video interviewing at present is Skype or Zoom. These are free and easy to download and use.


Test the microphone and speakers to make sure they are clear, use headphones if you need to.


If you are attaching a web cam, adjust it so you are in the middle of the screen. Do not zoom in so the employer can only see your face or zoom out so the employer can see everything in the room.


Check to be sure you have enough lighting and that your face isn’t in shadow.


Make sure that your background space is a white or clean wall, if possible.

Remove all distractions.

Close all windows so outside noise is not audible in the room. Tell everyone in your house that you are doing an interview and not to disrupt you.  If necessary, put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the outside of the door. Don’t try to do your interview in your local coffee shop.

Don’t let this happen…

What to wear

Dress as you would if you were meeting the interviewer face-to-face, as it will get you into an interviewing mindset and will help you feel more ready for the interview. Avoid wearing patterns, stripes or very bright colours as it can interfere with the lighting and brightness on the camera. When people do TV interviews, they tend to wear solid colours for this reason.

Top Tip: Conduct a mock interview

Find a person you trust and use the video conferencing software to conduct a mock interview. You are bound to make a few mistakes, so it is best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.

The Ballyhoura Jobs Club Team are available to do a mock interview with you. Just get in touch at [email protected] or on 086 306 2510.

During the Interview

Look into the camera

During video interviews, some people fixate on themselves on the computer screen. Remember that the interviewer/s are looking at you, so make sure that you’re professional throughout the interview. 

Eye contact is important in any kind of interview, but video calls make it a lot harder to follow, because, where do you look? If you look directly at the interviewer on the screen, it might feel like you’re giving good eye contact, but all they’ll see is you looking down.  Focus on looking directly at the camera, at least for the most-part of the interview. Also, remember to smile!

Body Language

Don’t forget about your body language. Although you’re not in the same room as your interviewer physically, body language remains important. Sit up straight, look attentive and enthusiastic.  You want your interviewer to hear you clearly. Don’t cover your mouth, remain conscious of your hand-to-face gestures. 

Top Tip:

Hold a pen to occupy your hands.

Make use of notes

As long as you do it subtly, there’s no reason why you can’t have handy tips nearby but don’t use them as a script, or you’ll probably sound as if you’re reading answers you’ve already prepared. And you won’t be able to look at the camera at the same time.

Slow it down

It can be easier to talk over people in a video interview so wait for the interviewer to stop speaking before you answer. This also gives you a few seconds to think about what you want to say before you speak.

What to do if things go wrong   

With technology, there’s always a chance things could go wrong. Here are some backup plans to have ready just in case.

If your video or audio stops working... 

Before the interview, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. If the video cuts out, call them at that number. Ask if you can continue the interview by phone or if you can reschedule.

If noise interrupts the conversation...

If noises (sirens, construction, etc.) interrupt your video interview, apologise for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided. You may want to mute the microphone if the noise is severe.

If someone enters the room unexpectedly...

If someone enters the room while you’re interviewing;

  • Apologize to the interviewer
  • Ask for a few moments
  • Mute your microphone and turn off your camera
  • Step away to deal with the interruption.
  • Make sure that the room is secure before beginning the interview again.

Follow up

As with any job interview, you should conclude by thanking the interviewer for their time. Send a follow-up thank you email after the interview.