Video Chat Interview Success

Have you got a Skype or Zoom ESL job interview? Here are 5 top tips to help you ace it!

Working in the TEFL and TESL industry means that you may be applying for roles all over the world and not able to attend a face to face interview. Face to face interviews are nerve-wracking enough without having the added pressure of relying on technology not to fail, language barriers and anything else that could go wrong.

You’ve done all the right things, you’ve made a good first impression as a candidate, submitted a great resume, and now you’ve been asked to participate in an interview.

Congratulations, but now you have to ace the interview and it’s via video chat.

Read this and you’ll be fine!

1.     Look Professional

Remember that just because the interview is being conducted via video chat and you are likely to be sitting at your desk or kitchen table doesn’t mean it is a social call. Ensure you are dressed as you generally would be for an interview. Shave or wear make-up if you usually would, ensure your hair is brushed and your clothes are ironed.

It can be tempting to wear shorts or pyjamas since it is unlikely your interviewer will see this; however dressing from head to toe in a professional manner gives you the psychological edge of being fully prepared.

2.     Prepare the Background

So you have worked out what you are going to wear and know you are going to present yourself in the best possible light, now for whatever else the interviewer can see and hear. No-one expects that you are going to have an office in the background but there are steps you can take to show you are professional and taking the interview seriously.


If you can have a blank wall behind you, that is your best option. If this is not easily done, ensure that the area behind you and anything visible on the desk or table if not able to be removed is neat, tidy and inoffensive.

Advise others in the household that you will be conducting an interview so they don’t accidentally interrupt, play loud music or provide any other distractions.

3.     Prepare your Devices

You are interviewing for a role where it is imperative to communicate effectively and to be able to show you can engage with others, it would be disappointing if your skills were overshadowed by technology concerns.

Check your webcam works, is at the right height so the interviewer can see you easily, and that it provides a good picture. If you can use a headset with a microphone, this will give you the best performance.

Ear buds with a microphone also will be adequate. If you have neither of these, test your microphone with a friend so you can make any adjustments to volume or positioning.

4.     Practice, Practice, Practice

If you’ve never had an interview via video chat before it can be quite an unexpected change to a face to face interview. Most people find video interviews to be quite awkward, where do you put your hands? Where do you look?

All the general rules of interview skills apply, such as not fidgeting and looking the interviewers in the eye when answering questions. Record yourself talking into your webcam and if necessary adjust it, or at least find out where you should be looking so that you are directly facing the interviewer.

Practice several times either recording yourself or with a friend who can give you some feedback.

5.     Be Yourself!

You may have to present a professional front, but you can still be yourself. The interviewer knows you have the skills and experience to be able to do the role from your resume, now they are looking to see if you have the communication skills and personality to succeed.

Interviewers are looking for happy and personable candidates who will be able to interact well with students no matter their age, and who will adapt well to the new culture they will be living in. It can be difficult to build a rapport with someone when you are not in the same room, so smile and engage with the interviewer as much as possible.

Following the above simple steps will help you succeed in your video chat interview.

Find out the most common ESL job interview questions and how to answer them here.

Still think you might need help? Just ESL Resumes can get you prepared for your job interview!

Further reading:

Video Chat Interview Success

Be a Great Candidate Before Your Resume Even Gets Read

Common ESL Interview Questions and the Best Way to Answer Them

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