Cup of coffee and virtual meeting with work colleagues

4 mistakes to avoid in your next virtual interview

4 mistakes to avoid in your next virtual interview

Posted on March 2021 By Nicholas Farley

Cup of coffee and virtual meeting with work colleagues


We are now in a time when video interviews are a preferred step in the interview process for most of our clients. 

Whilst the format is the same, it takes skill to know how to capture attention, be interactive and leave a lasting impression through your computer screen

Here are some useful tips on which are the most common virtual mistakes and how to avoid them when taking part your next a virtual interview or meeting.

Ignoring mistakes

Making mistakes is only human.

Your interviewers will know that. But, ignoring them and acting like they didn’t happen is all too common in virtual interviews and meetings. In a situation where everyone is staring at their screen and tuned in to what is happening, ignoring mistakes can create a sense of awkwardness.

In these moments, it’s important to remember that these scenarios are new for everyone and acknowledging your mistakes is part of a teething process which is to be expected.

Jon Dick, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, agrees, and his advice is relatively straightforward: “As the old saying goes, ‘If you can’t hide it, feature it!’ Slides not sharing? Children bursting into the room? Not on mute? Don’t stress out — just laugh, relax, and acknowledge it.”

No backup plans

An in-person interview won’t be completely sabotaged by a dysfunctional microphone or slideshow, but it will ruin a virtual one. Ashley Ladd, Manager on the Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging team at HubSpot, says that not having a tech backup plan for your virtual meeting is a mistake.

Ladd says, “Our internet connection is always stable until we need it to be, so having a backup plan ensures flawless execution of your events and less worrying about your connection or having the meeting dropped.”

Your plan B can include things like a back-up laptop or using your phone hotspot while you troubleshoot any issues. Again, this virtual way of working is still reasonably new, there are bound to be some hitches, but employers will still expect you to be prepared.

Being impersonal without chance for engagement

It’s never been easier to take part in an interview, and it’s also never been easier to lose your interviewers focus during one.

It is important to show a polished version of yourself during an interview, and it makes sense as you are trying to convince the interview to hire you.

However, being overly polished can be a mistake, as it could come off as robotic which will affect your relatability between you and your audience. These types of interview environments can be boring and disengaging for the interviewers, which is not what you want.

You need to be able to keep your audience engaged and leave some room for interaction with them. Using the interviewer’s names and making eye contact with the camera as your speaking are sure fire ways to stop people getting distracted.

It’s also important to mute notifications and make sure nothing else can pop up on the screen which may distract your audience, such as emails.

Not making use of the mute button

Most virtual meeting platforms only have the capacity to handle one person speaking at a time without it cutting off. This can be particularly disruptive if your interviewer is speaking and there is some background noise on your end.

When you’re not talking, mute yourself. It’s as easy as that.

Virtual interviews can still be engaging, as well as a great indicator to what you bring to the table.

Although these are the most common mistakes and are fairly straight forward to avoid – they aren’t the end of the world, and most likely all interviewers will show some sympathy.

Hopefully using this advice will ease your mind for your next video interview and help you ensure your next one is engaging and as impactful as one which is face to face.

If your considering making the move to a new opportunity and want to chat through, or you are looking to hire your next marketer for a virtual role – feel free to get in touch.

This article was adapted for virtual interviews from a guide produced by the Hubspot marketing team.