Top Tips for Virtual Interviews!

07 Dec Top Tips for Virtual Interviews!

Top Tips for Virtual Interviews!


According to a recent study by Princeton University, our Charisma is determined by the signals we give others about our warmth and competence, which ultimately leads to you appearing more competent, confident, influential, and trustworthy- all qualities that you want in your next interview!  Charisma is the quality that makes people want to be your friend, speak with you, employ you, and do business with you.

Coming across as highly warm means coming across as trustworthy and likable; while coming across as highly competent, means that we appear more reliable.

The following tips are specifically for Virtual Interviews but can be adapted for any interview, meeting or social event.

  1. Show Your Hands.

In the first 10 seconds- the first second really- you want to show your hands.  Wave.  Gesture.  Adjust something.  Subconsciously, if your hands are hidden, it activates the amygdala in the brain of the interviewer and sends a warning that you may be hiding something from in them- a possible danger.  Subconsciously, the interviewer may feel that something is “off” and not feel relaxed chatting with you.

  1. The Distance from your Nose to Camera.

If you were physically in the same room as the interviewer, you would not cozy up next to them on the couch.  You would be mindful of a person’s “personal space”.  The same should apply to virtual interviews.  You want to fit 30-45cm from the camera.  (This distance also assists with being able to show your hands, as you talk, with casual hand gestures.)

  1. Face Forward

Sit upright, with your toes, your knees, your torso, and shoulders all facing forward, at the camera.  The study shows that if you sit at an angle, or sideways to the camera, you will come across as hard to believe.  (Did you know that the direction a person’s toes face, indicates the way they want to go?  When you are waiting to leave a function, check which way your feet are angled!)

  1. Be Careful of “Up Talk”

Up-talk is when you talk at a higher pitch, with a question-inflection at the end.  When your sentence ends at a higher pitch, it sounds like you are unsure of yourself, and asking a question, and it activates the prefrontal cortex of the listener and makes them question the validity of your words.

When you are nervous, you tend to hold your breath, and talking with a full breath raises the pitch.  Try speaking on the exhale.  (Hint- listen to voice notes that you have sent in the last week.  Is your pitch high, neutral, or low?  Does the end of the sentence imply a question?)

  1. Facial Expressions.

Don’t smile if you don’t mean it- it comes across as inauthentic.

Nodding your head slowly encourages the other person to talk 57% more, as does dipping your ear to indicate you want to hear more

  1. Dress to Impress

Your outfit does not need to make sense- only the top half has to! Pull on a shirt/ jacket/ jersey/ scarf for the 30-minute interview, and then you can go back to whatever you normally wear.

Men- try and wear a collared shirt.  You don’t need a tie or jacket, but a T-shirt/ Vest does not come across as professional.  Facial hair should be neat and hair brushed.

Ladies- Be careful of strappy/ strapless tops- when only your shoulders are showing, it can appear you are not wearing anything.  Look at yourself in the camera before the interview- do you need some lipstick?  Is your neckline revealing?

  1. Staging

If you don’t have access to a boardroom, office or other professional setting, sit in a parked car for the interview, where you wont be disturbed and its quiet.  Never walk around during the interview, or hide in stairwells/ bathrooms where there is no signal.


If you would like to learn more about Charisma and virtual interviews, watch/ listen to the following interview between Mel Robbins and Vanessa van Edwards, or read the full Prinston Study here.