You’ll first want to do some background research on: 

  • The organization / company (mission, vision, and values)
  • The job you are applying for (skills, required and desired experiences)
  • The style of interview (one on one, group, panel, case study)
  • Sample questions that are common in this particular industry 

Once you’ve researched the context, you can prepare in the following ways:

  • Use the STAR(E) methodology to answer questions:
    • Situation → Describe the situation
    • Tasks → The goal you worked towards in that situation
    • Action → What you or the team did 
    • Results → The outcome
    • Experiences → Lessons learned 
  • Select sample questions to write out your answers and practice them vocally. Once you’re feeling more prepared, try to practice with a friend or family member
  • Prepare questions for the employer to ask at the end of your interview

For some sample questions, see McGill’s “How to Interview”.

Just like an in-person interview, you’ll want to research and prepare your answers to the interview questions. Check out our “How should I prepare for an in-person interview?” question. 

Ensure you know how to use the equipment needed for your virtual interview and that you test out the sound ahead of time.

For a live interview (where you interact with the employer)

  • Speak clearly and make eye contact with the camera
  • Feel free to ask them to repeat the question
  • If you have notes, keep them out of the view of the interviewer and check them as little as possible 
  • Speak slowly to allow the interviewer to take notes 

For a recorded interview (where questions are pre-loaded and you record your answers)

In addition to the “live interview tips”:

  • Read the question carefully 
  • Check the clock periodically (if one is available, otherwise try to set one up yourself) to make sure you stay on track 
  • Take small breaks in between each question (wait to hit the ‘ready’ button)
  • If given the opportunity, practice the questions once before submitting the final response.

After an interview, try to write down all the questions that were asked and how you answered them. Take time to consider how you would answer them differently, and things to note for future interviews. Also, within the first 24 hours of the interview, send a detailed and genuine email to the person who interviewed you to thank them for their time and reiterate your interest in the position. If you haven’t heard back from them by the date they specified, feel free to send them a polite email to check-in on their progress and reiterate your interest.