Interviews can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. And that’s without the added nuisance of technical mishaps.
While in-person interviews can be stressful, Zoom interviews come with their own set of unique challenges.
Ensuring your tech doesn’t fail, setting up your background, and interviewing without eye contact are all struggles that Zoom presents.
If you’re experiencing difficulties finding a job, we’ve got some Zoom interview tips that should help you get through your next teleconferencing interview with ease.
Zoom Interview Dos
Do arrive on time. Or even better yet, arrive early. Just as you want to prove your punctuality in a face-to-face interview, you want to prove you’re reliable during a Zoom interview, too.
Do organize your interview space. Make sure your background and desk are professional and reflect who you are as an employee.
Do greet your interviewer. Use a friendly smile and firm language to show you’re prepared and excited for the interview.
Do use Zoom to your advantage. Keep a list of talking points handy nearby and don’t be afraid to take notes.
4 Zoom Interview Tips
One way your Zoom interview will differ from an in-person interview (or a phone interview for that matter) is that it will take place virtually wherever you are. These Zoom interview tips will help you iron out any issues that may arise.
This means you probably want to be somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted. It’s also important to understand that your background may reflect on your personal and professional character.
Make sure you’re in a place that reflects who you are as an employee.
1. Check Your Tech
Before clicking on your Zoom invitation link, you’ll want to perform a few preliminary screenings.
Test your Zoom account to make sure your personal information is correct and your camera and mic are working. Also, create a professional environment that will provide the ideal backdrop for an interview.
Test Your Zoom Account
Even if you use it on the regular, test your Zoom account, microphone, and camera beforehand. You don’t want any technical surprises on the day of your interview.
Check Your Internet Access
Losing internet access is one sure-fire way to miss your interview altogether.
If you lose internet access, you may not be able to attend the interview, and there’s no guarantee the interviewer will be willing to reschedule.
Check your internet access the day before and the day of the interview. Choose a location that has consistent internet access. Create a backup plan just in case you lose internet access (can you use your smartphone as a hotspot? Can you use your neighbor’s internet).
2. Make Your Office a No-Noise Zone
Try not to do interviews in public spaces, such as coffee shops or restaurants. If you’re interviewing from home, ensure pets, roommates, children, and others won’t disturb you.
And don’t forget to silence phone and computer notifications.
3. Prepare as You Would for an In-Person Interview
There are a few ways to prepare for a Zoom interview that are similar to ways in which you’d prepare for an in-person interview. These include dressing the part and coordinating your background.
Dress the Part
Just as you’d need to dress appropriately for an in-person interview, you’ll need to dress the part during a Zoom interview, too. The only difference? You could technically wear sweatpants if you wanted!
Yet before you throw on a pair of pajama pants or sweats, consider what you’ll do if you need to stand up for any reason or if something unexpected were to happen. Will you remember to turn off your camera? Would turning off your camera even be appropriate?
You may want to consider wearing a complete outfit instead of just dressing from the waist up for a Zoom interview.
Coordinate your Background
Does your background match the vibe of your potential employer? Is your office neat and tidy? Or would you describe your interview space as “controlled chaos”?
If your interview space isn’t interview-ready, you may want to try to create at least a background that’s interview-appropriate.
You may even want your office’s personal brand to match your potential employer’s brand.
This may mean showing off your artsy side for a design job or over-organizing your office supplies for a finance job.
Consider removing personal artifacts from the room, such as novelty mugs with sayings or slogans, photos of your last vacation, or inappropriate books from visible shelves.
If all else fails, choose a tasteful Zoom background (such as the filter that removes background images).
4. Take Advantage of Zoom
One Zoom interview tip that is often overlooked? The fact that Zoom interviews offer so much more flexibility than in-person interviews do.
Forget your talking points? Have them handy nearby. Need to remember important info? Take notes! Since only your face or upper body is on camera, you can sneak glances at cheat sheets or even look up info online last-minute.
As your interview progresses, take notes and write down important information.
This may include specific information the interviewer has mentioned is of importance, including company values and branding, what they’re looking for in a candidate, and important skills you’ll need to do your job.
Make sure to reference how you fit the bill for each piece of information as you’re answering questions. These little nuggets of information are insights into what the company wants in an employee.
By taking notes and offering tailored responses, you can show that you pay attention to detail.
If you plan on taking notes, you may want to mention this to the interviewer so it doesn’t look like you’re on your phone or not paying attention to them.
Keep Talking Points Handy
Do a little recon before your interview. Research company culture. Find out what skills the job description includes. Write down the names of interviewers and possible managers.
Keep these talking points handy, and feel free to look at them as you’re answering each question. Better yet, if you have an idea of the types of questions the interviewer might ask, make a bulleted list of talking points to help you deliver seamless answers.
It’s important to use bulleted lists and steer clear of full sentences, as you don’t want to sound like you’re reading from a script.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this or experiencing job search burnout, we don’t blame you! Here at Rise, we know the ins and outs of interviews can be complicated — and that’s without adding Zoom to the equation.
Join Rise to get Zoom interview tips and find out exactly what you need to do to sail through your next interview.