How to Set Up a Great Virtual Interview Space

Street view of the large Hamersly Library, a three-story building with many windows.

As a continuation of our grad series, we wanted to offer some tips to soon-to-be grads who might have upcoming interviews. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you might end up having virtual interviews, which look a little different than in-person ones. Here’s what you need for a phenomenal virtual interview. 

Good lighting 

One of the most important aspects of a good virtual interview is good lighting. Ideally, you will be able to set up your interview station in a well-lit room, with wonderful natural lighting. Of course, we know that this won’t always be possible. Here are a few ways to improve the lighting in the room. 

  1. Open all curtains/blinds to get as much natural light as possible. 
  2. Play around with overhead lighting and/or lamps to see which combination works the best. 
  3. You can also purchase a clip-on ring light that attaches to laptops, phones, and tablets. While some of these ring lights can be a little pricey, there are options in the $5-$10 range. 

Make sure to test lighting prior to the interview to ensure that everything works well together. 

Strong Wi-Fi 

This one can be a little tricky, as reliable Wi-Fi is hard to find, and can be pretty expensive. One option is to check out your living space and figure out where the strongest Wi-Fi signal is, and try to set up your interview station there. If this isn’t an option, you might try to head to campus and utilize a public space, like the WUC or Hamersly Library. Please note that campus spaces will require masks to be worn at all times. 

Check your angle

Another important aspect to take into consideration in the angle of your camera. During the interview, you will want your head and shoulders to be seen, without being too close to the camera. Typically, this angle is best achieved if the camera is about level with your forehead, and angled ever so slightly down toward your eyes. Again, play around with the angles until you find what works best for you. 

Limit distractions

Distractions can include other people, dogs barking, cluttered backgrounds, TVs, etc. You want to limit as many distractions as possible, both for yourself and for the interviewer, to ensure the focus is on you and your skills. Before the interview begins, put away your phone, inform everyone you live with that you are in an interview, and make sure that the background the interviewer will see is clean and non-distracting. Some distractions can’t be avoided, like cars passing by or loud outside noises, but it is important to limit as many distractions as possible. 

Remember to always practice interviews beforehand, especially with the switch to virtual interviews. Check your lighting, Wi-Fi, and angle, and limit any distractions to ensure that your interview is the best it possibly can be. Good luck! 

For more tips for upcoming grads, be sure to check out our ongoing grad series on Today at WOU.

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