Covid-19 has changed the way we work, and for many people this means making the switch to working from home. With remote work becoming the norm across a wide range of sectors, most employers are turning to Zoom to conduct interviews online. This video conferencing software can connect a candidate with an employer anywhere in the country, so employment opportunities are more plentiful than ever. For those of us who are accustomed to an in person interview, the thought of a video interview can be daunting. But tackling job interviews from home can actually have its benefits if you know what you’re doing. So keep reading to learn some valuable Zoom video interview tips to help you get hired.
Dress to Impress
You may be at home, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to prepare as you would for an in person interview. Sure it can be tempting to just wear sweatpants, but will that really make you feel prepared? Instead, treat the situation as you would a normal job interview — that’s what it is after all. Make a good impression by wearing the appropriate attire. What you wear is still important, even if the interviewer can only see what appears on camera. Dressing in business attire not only shows that you are professional and serious about the job, but it can also put you in the right mindset for an interview. Zoom call or not, the bottom line is that video interviews should not be taken lightly.
Check your Tech
One of the reasons Zoom interviews can be so intimidating is because there is the added element of technology. It is crucial that you know how to navigate the platform and the features it offers, so using Zoom should be second nature to you before you join an interview. Don’t panic if you’re not the most tech-savvy person — simply ask a friend to do a test run with you so that you can get used to using Zoom and doing video calls. You might even learn some tips that could come in handy for your Zoom interview. This will make you feel more confident when it comes to the real thing and will hopefully prevent you from making embarrassing mistakes.
If you are interviewing for a tech-related job, being able to use Zoom smoothly and professionally ahead of time will be a must. But regardless of the job you are applying for, it’s likely that you will be using Zoom on a daily basis. So getting used to the platform will be helpful for you in the future.
It is also important to make sure your technology is in working order before the Zoom interview. This means checking your camera, microphone, and computer speakers beforehand. Zoom has a feature that allows you to test your computer speakers and microphone before joining an interview, so use this to give you peace of mind going into your interview. Lastly, double check your internet connection to make sure it’s fast enough.
Set the Scene
When it comes to Zoom interviews, proper presentation is more than just dressing the part. It’s also about choosing the right background. A blank wall can be the safest option, but maybe you want to use a more interesting background that makes you stand out from the crowd. For example, you could sit in your home office to give an air of professionalism, while bookshelves are also a popular background. The important thing to remember is that your backdrop should be a clean and neat space, with nothing that could distract the interviewer on the wall behind you.
Another important thing to watch out for is lighting. No matter how great your background is, bad lighting can make you appear washed out or overshadowed. Pay attention to where you sit and how the lighting looks to the interviewer. Bright overhead lights can be unflattering, so direct natural light from a window is the best option.
These might seem like small considerations, but aspects such as background and lighting can actually make a big difference in how you present yourself to a hiring manager — especially in a Zoom interview where you can’t interact with each other in person.
Extra Zoom Interview Tips
Once you’ve followed the tips for video interviews above, you’ll be ready for your Zoom interview. Here are some more helpful tips that job seekers can use to prepare for the interview.
It can be disorientating to see your own face staring back at you as well as the interviewer’s, but try not to feel self-conscious about it. This could actually be beneficial as it allows you to see yourself and your facial expressions exactly as the interviewer does. Also, focus on using the appropriate body language to appear relaxed and engaged. Be mindful of your posture while answering interview questions and also remember to look directly into the camera as a way of making eye contact. Even though it’s not actual eye contact, it still can look like you are paying full attention to the interviewer.
There are quick and easy things you can do to ensure the Zoom interview goes as smoothly as possible. Simple things like making sure you have a strong internet connection or that your computer is fully charged will save you from unnecessary stress. You should also tell your roommates or family members that you’re doing a Zoom interview so they know to avoid making too much noise. Turn off notifications on your computer or laptop and put your phone on silent to avoid interruptions or distractions.
As with any interview, you should prepare answers to common questions you might be asked so that you can answer clearly and efficiently. It is also a good idea to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer regarding aspects of the job you would like answers to. Practice your interviewing skills to make sure you are comfortable in the interview space. Otherwise, you might feel like it’s a video recording and start to focus on distractions during the meeting.
Finally, remember that at the end of the day, it’s still a normal job interview even if it’s done through Zoom. Although it can seem strange and intimidating to do a Zoom interview, these tips will help you feel confident and prepared.