How to conduct a virtual job interview for your school

Parentapps Team

Coronavirus has changed everything. And even though your school might have opened its doors a little wider to accept more children, that doesn’t mean the dangers COVID presented the world with have disappeared. Teaching staff are worried about social distancing for pupils, and themselves and parents are concerned about their children.

There’s a lot of anxiety surrounding schools at the moment, and understandably so. And when you need to recruit new teaching staff for September term starts, how can you interview without unnecessarily compromising your safety and theirs? Many schools have been utilising conferencing call applications such as Zoom or Skype to hold staff and senior leadership team meetings – so why not extend its use to interviews? In fact, Zoom has removed its previous call time limit of 40 minutes for primary and secondary schools affected by the Coronavirus.

Virtual interviews can help minimise anxiety surrounding social distancing – but can bring with it a whole set of new worries. Whether you’re worried about using an application you’re not 100% familiar with, or you’re worried about handling yourself confidently on the call, we’re sharing some virtual interviewing tips to help you interview with confidence.

Complete a practice run 

A practice run is always advisable when you’re doing something you’re not familiar with. Conducting a practice run on another member of staff or a family member can help you get to grips with the different buttons and features such as mastering screen share and understanding common issues.

Prepare an interview process

After you’ve completed your test run, it’s important to think about the process for the interviewee. Usually, they might have had a walkaround in the weeks leading up to the application, but with social distancing, this won’t have happened. Instead, you can offer a virtual walkaround whether it’s live or pre-recorded

Try and keep to the same process for every virtual interview. This way, you can share details with the applicant, so they know exactly what to expect, i.e. the format of the interview, don’t forget, they might be a little nervous too. 

Choose a well-lit space to conduct your interview

You need to ensure your interviewee can see you clearly and hear your questions. Non-verbal cues play an important role in how we communicate and understand each other. Being able to hear what you’re saying and read facial expressions will help put the interviewee at ease.

Finding a quiet space, such as your office or the staff room, is a must. Although the noise might not sound too bad to you, it can warp the sound for your interviewee and not understanding or being able to hear a question clearly can be frustrating and impede their chances.

To sum up:

  • Clear communication should be a priority from the outset – this includes communicating the process to the interviewee before your interview and communicating clearly through the interview itself
  • Choose a quiet and bright space to conduct your interview in. This reduces distractions and helps the interviewee read non-verbal cues.
  • Practice, practice and practice some more! Always carry out a test run, whether it’s to learn how to start a video call, share your screen or just for peace of mind. 


Hopefully, these tips have helped you adequately equip yourself for your virtual interview process. Good luck – we’re sure you’ll do great!