Student Guide


Any job interview is an intimidating affair, and one that people usually hype themselves up for with their best outfits, and their most calming drinks. How will this now translate to preparing for an interview—online?

/ 10 September 2020

We’re well past the midpoint of the coronavirus timeline, where fresh college graduates virtually commemorated one of the most important days of their lives on Zoom, or livestream. On top of the usual burden and pressure of making the first step to adulthood and landing their first job, the class of 2020 is now faced with the challenge of doing all this online.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the various levels of quarantine throughout the Philippines, offices are still encouraged to operate with a skeletal workforce. That is, if they opt to work physically in the office at all. These days, most offices are at a work-from-home set-up, which also means that Human Relations operations like job interviews are done from home. As a result, most, if not all, job hirings are now practiced virtually with interviewers and interviewees meeting for the first time through video call.

We’ve compiled a list of things to remember for the fresh grads out there trying to secure their first job through a camera:


Do your research.

Just like any job interview, virtual or not, it’s your responsibility to know the basics of the company you want to join prior to the set meeting. Check out their social media, look at what other people are saying about them, and this will give you an insight on what to say, and what questions to watch out for.

Knowing more about the company also tends to lessen nervousness, as it fills out the gaps in your mind that contributes to the fear of meeting someone for the first time. Researching beforehand will also give you time to think of questions of your own to ask them — remember that a job interview is for both parties to assess compatibility and fit. Feel free to ask questions that are important to you when choosing a job.


Test your technology.

Avoid glitches and technical difficulties by testing your equipment at least an hour before your call. Check your internet connection, the video preview, your audio quality, and your device battery, to prevent the awkward “can you hear me?” moment or those mortifying minutes that the frame is frozen mid-call.

For good measure, do a test run with a friend and squeeze in some minutes of moral support while you’re at it.


Prepare your set-up.

Since the only thing the interviewer will assess you with is whatever fits in the camera and laptop screen, it’s best to make it count. Make sure the camera doesn’t capture piles of laundry or a distracting background where other people from your household can pass by, so their focus isn’t taken away from you and your sparkling personality.

More than what the interviewer will see, it’s also good to make sure you have everything you might need within arm’s length to avoid unnecessary seconds of you grabbing something from the other side of the room. Have a glass of water nearby, get a pen and some paper, and put your phone on silent. On that note, get rid of anything that might distract you too, including your beloved pet that might jump on your lap in the middle of a very important sentence.


Dress for confidence.

It’s an age-old fact that what you wear impacts how you feel, and when you’re jumping on a quick video call for a job you want, it’s nerve-wracking to say the least. So as much as it’s good to wear something that will make you look more presentable and professional, it’s also important for yourself to wear an outfit that will make you feel comfortable and confident. This way, you’ll feel good and have one less thing to worry about when answering the interviewer’s questions.



It may sound a bit funny, but practice is key even when it comes to interviews. Prepare your answers for common queries like your strengths and weaknesses, your proudest moments, and the infamous “tell me about yourself” prompt. You don’t have to memorize sentences or create a whole script — just know the points you want to highlight and you think will interest the interviewer. This will also make you feel more comfortable when talking to someone in a formal setting, and will reduce nervous gestures like excessive hand movements.

Hopefully these tips help you out on your next video interview and get you that dream job. Just remember to breathe, smile, and that the other side of the screen is rooting for you too.