Digital Job Interview

Virtual job interviews or job interviews via video chat are no longer a rarity in today’s working world in times of digitalization and internationalization. This is particularly true of the current corona pandemic. If you conduct the interview from your home office, you should take it just as seriously as an interview with a potential employer on site. In most cases, a video interview is a “real” job interview whose content does not differ from an interview at the employer’s premises.

The preparation

Check technical conditions

Before you start the interview, it is important to check the technical conditions. You may need to download or install a specific tool in advance. In most programs you can log in in advance to check if everything works and you’ll have the opportunity to get used to it. To be on the safe side, connect your computer to the internet with a network cable. As a precaution, you can also install the required tool on your tablet or smartphone to have a backup if necessary. Furthermore, you should also test the picture and sound quality. If the integrated microphone of your computer does not transmit the voice clearly, invest in an in-ear headset. For a skype interview, for example, it may be useful to set up a separate account that you only use for such purposes. This way you can avoid interruptions from other contacts during the job interview. Remember to use a professional profile picture and username and also check your status.

The camera

The video quality should be sharp and high contrast for the online interview, because a bad, pixelated picture could unconsciously have a negative impact on your evaluation. For this reason, make sure that the room is sufficiently bright. Note the following guidelines for the camera position: You are literally conducting the interview at eye level. It is best to adjust your screen so that your eyes are at the same level as the camera. It often takes a few tries to get the hang of angling the camera so that your whole face is in the frame. You can also use your smartphone camera for the online interview, preferably on a tripod. Before the online interview, try out different camera angles and look at them self-critically.

The setting

When it comes to the actual interview, pay particular attention to what shows up on the screen. What part of my room will the recruiter see? How should I design the background? Clear your workspace and create an ideally neutral background free of any disturbing or distracting elements that could show up on the screen. Make sure that you are in a quiet room, where you will not be disturbed by people or noises from outside. Turn off your ringer, any alarms, and electronics that are likely to interrupt. Furthermore, make sure you have all the necessary documents in your sightline, such as the job advertisement and your CV. Be ready ten minutes before the appointment. Close all other programs on your computer so that an update doesn’t cause your computer to restart spontaneously. You should also have a glass of water within reach, just in case.

The right outfit

Do not forget that this is a face-to-face business conversation. Therefore, dress exactly the way you would dress for a meeting on site. Make sure that your outfit is neat and appropriate for the industry.

Making contact

In a skype interview you should clarify beforehand who is calling whom. Usually the company calls the applicant. For a video interview with people abroad, you should also set the time zone. In some online meetings, you will first be taken to a visual waiting room until the interviewer will give you permission to enter the interview room.

Questions regarding the content

Whether virtual or not, good preparation is important for every job interview. Which questions should you be prepared for? We offer you detailed tips on how to prepare.

During the interview

Voice and language

Due to a possibly slightly distorted and time-delayed transmission, it is very important to speak clearly and not too fast. Be sure to let your interviewer finish, otherwise important information may be lost. If you have not understood something correctly, ask.

Body language

An experienced HR professional will pay as much attention to your body language in a video interview as in a face-to-face conversation, so don’t be tempted by your familiar surroundings to make yourself too comfortable in front of the camera. Sit or stand upright, ideally with your eyes at camera level. Avoid using too many gestures since especially fast, sweeping movements are often transmitted with delay. Keep your hands as still as possible, otherwise it may look hectic.

Take Notes

There is nothing wrong with taking notes during the conversation. For this purpose, it is recommended that you have pen and paper at hand, as you would do during an on-site conversation. Typing noises can be very annoying.

Closing the interview

At the end, ask your remaining questions and say a friendly goodbye, no matter how the conversation went from your point of view. Thank the interviewer, for the conversation and leave the virtual room quickly.

After the Interview


Evaluate the interview from your point of view and note the information from the interview that is most important to you. You are welcome to use our tips for an analysis.