I'm doing an online interview soon and they requested I use earbuds. I don't have any and I don't have the money or gas to go out and buy some. I do have access to larger headphones, big clunky ones that cover your ears. It's all I have though. Will it work or will I be disqualified for not having earbuds?
You should be Ok - I will think this is a minor thing and after a minute it will be forgotten about.
Anyway - good luck.
Most people's computers are hooked up to speakers.
But this can cause problems when you're doing an interview over the internet: the sound from the speakers can be picked up the microphone, creating either a feedback squeal or an echoing effect as both of your words get played a few times before fading to silence.
I can tell you with near certainty that the reason they're asking for 'earbuds' isn't because they specifically need 'earbuds' for the process. It's because they've run into enough audio problems that they just ask for them up-front in order to save time and hassle.
So regular headphones will definitely be okay - it's still handling their core business need (no audio feedback/looping.)
They almost certainly requested that you use earbuds to avoid the common problem of computer speakers creating feedback.
Just wear your headphones and they will probably think nothing of it. If you feel the need to say something, you could say,
You asked me to wear earbuds, but I only had these headphones. I hope you can hear me OK.
If the interviewer were upset about this for some reason, that might be a red flag that this will not be a nice company to work for.
Many people, including myself, use full-size headphones in professional videoconferencing settings. Your choice of clothing and your lighting are far more important.