Virtual interviews — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Welcome back, Fulton Schools students! I hope that your spring break was fun and relaxing. I know that some of you were busy working on projects, but I’m sure that it was nice to have big blocks of time uninterrupted by classes.

Many of you are in the process of interviewing for internships and jobs after graduation. A few weeks ago, I wrote about successful interviewing. Today, I want to add a few tips about virtual interviews (which can be Skype, phone or various in-house platforms).

Days before the interview, it is important that you test the technology you will be using and get your environment in order. If the interviewer will be able to see you, make sure that whatever is behind you will not be distracting. Consider others with whom you are living — family, roommates and/or pets. Make sure that you will not be interrupted during the interview. Finally, check (and possibly adjust) the lighting in the room.

I recommend that you practice. You can do this with a friend or record yourself using the Interview module on Optimal Résumé. Optimal Résumé is accessed through Handshake (Click on “Career Center” and then “Resources” will take you to Optimal Résumé.) Practice with sample questions. Your goal is to sound natural and be able to show the interviewer what you can do for the company.

During the actual interview, dress professionally. Have some water nearby. Have your résumé and notes where you can see them. Remember to look at the camera and not at yourself.

If you are interviewing by phone, you and the interviewer cannot see each other. You will need to speak a bit slower than usual and take care to articulate your words clearly. In this case you can have your notes spread out so that read them easily. Smile when you are speaking! Believe it or not, it really does make a difference. Take care not to get so engrossed in talking that you forget about the interviewer. Your responses need to be concise and answer the questions.

You can schedule appointments with the Fulton Schools peer career coaches to practice interviewing — virtually or in person. If you are requesting a phone or Skype interview, make sure that the location (Appointment Medium) selected is the Fulton Schools Career Center at Centerpoint.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center.  She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.