virtual interview
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15 Tips for Making Space for Virtual Interview Success

The internet is full of tips these days on how to prepare for a virtual job interview in your space by finding a basic background, checking your technology, and making sure you’ll have privacy during your interview. But not everybody has the luxury of finding such a space. 

Understandably, it is much harder for Gen Z to find an appropriate location for their virtual interviews as they are less likely to have their own homes. According to our recent survey, 21% of Gen Zers report facing this challenge, compared to 12% of Millennials, and only 10% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

If you’re someone who struggles to find an interview space, here are 15 tricks and tips from real recruiters for where to do your virtual interview:

Create a professional and tidy backdrop

Andrew Roderick

“You’ll want as professional a backdrop as possible. Some people may think it is best to sit in front of a green screen to hide their background completely, and while this is a good option, I don’t think it is the best one. A tidy room, though it may not seem useful, can show your potential employer that you can keep up to things and remain organized.”

Andrew Roderick, CEO at Credit Repair Companies

Pick a blank wall

Shiv Gupta

“An alternative location is to sit in front of a blank wall, it will guarantee that you’re in the main point of the conversation. Ultimately, you want to look (and sound) just as presentable on camera as you would in person. An easy way to find the best angle is by setting your computer at shoulder height. You might need to stack a few textbooks to get it right, but your computer’s camera should be at eye level with you. In addition to helping you feel more confident, it also puts the interviewer at ease. When considering your lighting, always opt for natural light. Open your curtains and allow the sunshine to hit the front of your face. Avoid being backlit by any light behind you, as the effect can make it hard for the interviewer to see you.”

Shiv Gupta, CEO at Incrementors

Just cancel out the noise

Sherry May Shem Mandajos

“Use noise-cancellation technology. The best part about it is that people can use it regardless of the location they do the interview. Noise-cancellation technology is a necessary investment for virtual interviews, especially since noise comes unexpectedly, even with preventive measures in place. Purchase a headset with a built-in noise-canceling feature or subscribe to a noise-cancellation software and use your device’s existing microphone.”

Sherry Mae Shem Mandajos, CMO at Tankarium  

Sit in your car

Kevin Lee

“A great alternative location for virtual interviews can be your car. A car is often a quiet environment with comfortable seating so you can sit for a long time. You may be able to bring in a short, portable table and stack some books on top to put your laptop on. Make sure your laptop is at a level high enough so that you don’t have to crane your neck all the time and you don’t seem like you’re looking down into the camera. Park in your garage, driveway or in an empty lot where you won’t be disturbed during the interview.”

Kevin Lee, CEO at JourneyPure 

Borrow a friend’s house

Laura Fuentes

“Ask a friend or family member to use their home for the interview. You will be in a place that is comfortable and familiar. Since it is prearranged, you will have the quiet you need, instead of your roommate practicing for his band in the next room.” 

Laura Fuentes, Operator at Infinity Dish 

Set up in your backyard

Dana Case

“Backyards are generally well-lit with natural lighting and are not far from WiFi, so you’ll remain connected to take a Zoom video call. Be mindful that if you conduct a job interview in your backyard, it can be a bit noisy and full of distractions. Do not sit next to flowers where there are bees flying around (which you may need to shoo away during the call), go outside when your neighbors are conducting extensive yard maintenance, or take the interview on a day that is particularly windy or raining.”

Dana Case, Director of Operations at 

Visit a park

Andrew Fennell

“The local park is the ideal location for a virtual interview. You may enjoy a sense of relaxation and calmness in such a natural setting. However, it will be important to choose a quiet area of the park. Ensure that you have stable WiFi access or strong 4G signal if you can hotspot from your smartphone. It might even be worth spending an afternoon working in your favorite park area so that you are fully accustomed and confident within the alternative setting. You should also make sure that your laptop or mobile device has a long-enough battery life for an extended virtual interview.”

Andrew Fennell, Director and Careers Expert at StandOut CV

Check out your local library

Rex Freiberger

“We recently interviewed someone who rented a private cubicle in their local library branch. They had young kids at home and while their spouse was also home during the interview, they knew the kids might still be disruptive. They also didn’t have a private place to set up their computer and webcam that wouldn’t have otherwise been distracting. So they booked time in a cubicle at the local library. The connection was solid, there was very little traffic, and it was a quiet, focused interview. She seemed relaxed, which I don’t think she would have been at home.”

Rex Freiberger, CEO at Gadget Review

Find your local job center

Scarlett Allen-Horton

“Your local job center will have spare rooms that they use for their own interviews. Call up and check if these are bookable. Have a test run. From timing yourself to getting there, to power plugs, and connectivity. You want to make sure that everything runs smoothly on the day.”

Scarlett Allen-Horton, Senior Partner at Fox Global Recruitment Partners

Try a college classroom

Caroline Lee

“Rent a college classroom. Many classrooms are unoccupied when there are no classes. For example, in China, you may book one room for your use at the price of $20 at most.”

Caroline Lee, Growth Marketer and Co-Founder at CocoSign

Look for a co-working space

Reuben Yonatan

“A co-working space is a great alternative location for a virtual interview if you do not have a home. Most providers offer a free day pass. You can take advantage of that, or pay between $30-40 for a day pass. Request a private desk that allows you to face a window. It will give you the lighting you need and minimize interruptions from others who might have hired a nearby space. You can also hire a conference room if you want absolute privacy, but it will cost more.”

Reuben Yonatan, Founder and CEO of GetVoIP 

Visit a café or restaurant

Mark Hayes

“As far as virtual interviews go, you can’t do much better than a café. Cafés are traditionally a calm setting, and you’ll often find one close to you no matter where you are. So, if you lack the space in your own home, they’re a suitable alternative. Sit down somewhere comfortable, and maybe even grab a drink while you’re there to calm your nerves. Tensions can be high before an interview, but remember that people are social distancing. At your table, you’ll have your own space. You can carry out the interview in privacy.”

Mark Hayes, Head of Marketing at Kintell

Book a hotel room

Aaron Simmons

“Hotels have the best place that can give you the quiet, professional-looking environment you need during an interview. If you have the means to rent a room and can have your interview there, pick a corner with a neutral background. Also, make sure that you have the right reception of connection where you would have the interview. On the other hand, if you are just going to have it in a hotel lobby, pick a hotel that has a huge one. Position yourself in a corner where you wouldn’t be distracted by other customers in the place.”

Aaron Simmons, Founder and Editor at

Rent an Airbnb

Emilija Simic

“If you have several interviews, you can try to schedule them for the same day and rent an Airbnb. The price of Airbnbs decreased since the COVID-19 outbreak started, and this could be a reasonably small investment to make for your future.”

Emilija Simic, HR Consultant at TeamStage

Just be honest

David Adler

“Don’t shy away from being upfront as long as you feel comfortable sharing that there might be some people or noise or any other distraction in the background. You can give your interviewer a heads up in an email ahead of time or just explain that you don’t live alone at the start of the interview which actually adds a personal touch and a lot of people respect people trying their best to make it work. Just be prepared and show that despite any situations or distractions you can stay focused on the interview and you can turn any unexpected disturbances during your home interview into benefits.”

David Adler, Founder and CEO at The Travel Secret