Virtual Hiring & Onboarding - Candidates & Hires

NOTE: These guidelines are in direct response to Covid-19 and are designed to help you adjust to QBE’s updated recruitment processes. They are subject to review as our response to Covid-19 (and that of the countries in which we operate) changes.

Video Interview Tips

As most QBE employees are now working remotely, the majority of our candidate interviews will now take place remotely and by video/telephone until further notice.

Where the Recruiter has indicated you have been selected for a video interview, you’ll be responsible for finding a quiet location with a good internet connection and a computer or laptop with a webcam. Specifically, you’ll need to:

  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions from people, pets or noises
  • Ensure your internet connection is stable.
  • Check that your computer or tablet device audio is working.
  • Test your computer or tablet’s webcam.
  • Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications.
  • Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk.
  • Place your phone in silent mode.

What to wear for a video interview?

For your video interview, you should dress professionally—the same way you would for an in-person interview. Research the company culture and dress code for that part of the business before your interview so you have a good idea of what’s appropriate. It’s a good idea to check in with your QBE Recruiter on this subject to avoid any nasty surprises.

Be Prepared

Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen. While it’s likely that the interviewer will only see your upper half, it’s still a good idea to pay attention to the bottom half in case you need to stand up for any reason.

Video interview body language

Eye contact is very important during an in-person interview, and you want to convey that same level of connection during a video interview as an in-person one. Therefore, avoid the instinct to look directly at your interviewer on the screen while you’re answering a question. Instead, when you speak, you want to direct your gaze at the webcam. When you do this, your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer’s eyes on the other end. When you’re listening, you can look back at the screen.

When you’re listening, nod and smile when appropriate to communicate that you’re giving them your full attention. Use hand gestures when it feels appropriate and keep your movements close to your body. Avoid fidgeting or letting your gaze drift away from the device.

When the technology goes wrong

Here are some backup plans to have ready just in case.

  • If your video or audio stops working: Before the interview, ask the interviewer for a phone number where you can reach them if you experience technical difficulties. If the video cuts out, call them at that number. Ask if you can continue the interview by phone or reschedule.
  • If noise interrupts the conversation: If noises (sirens, construction, etc.) interrupt your video interview, apologize for the interruption and ask for a few moments until the noise has subsided. You may want to mute the microphone if the noise is severe.
  • If someone enters the room unexpectedly: If family members, housemates or pets enter the room while you’re interviewing, apologise to the interviewer, ask for a few moments, mute your microphone and turn off your camera, and then step away to deal with the interruption. Make sure that the room is secure before beginning the interview again.


It’s fair to assume that starting a new job and joining a new company in the current environment is going to be a new and different experience for you (not least because it’s unlikely you will be attending the office for some time) and it’s important that you adjust your expectations accordingly. Our People Leaders and HR Teams will be focused on ensuring you have as smooth an experience as possible, but even with the greatest of efforts and best of intentions, your QBE onboarding experience is going to feel very different to what you (and we) are used to. You will need to work closely with your Manager to ensure you get up to speed with your new role as soon as possible, but even then, it’s generally accepted that virtual onboarding takes longer than normal.

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