Updated: Jan 9
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Are you preparing for a Zoom interview and feeling a bit nervous? You're not alone! As convenient as they are, don't be fooled into thinking video interviews are easy. You'll need prepare at least as much, if not more, than if you were interviewing in person.
93% of employers now use virtual interviews and plan to continue using them - Indeed Hiring Trends survey 2021
Video calls have become a popular way for employers to conduct job interviews in recent years, and it's natural to feel anxious about this format. But don't worry - with a little preparation, you can ace your Zoom interview and present yourself as the ideal candidate for the role. In this article, we will go over the 7 essentials you need to know to prepare for a successful Zoom interview. From testing your technology to dressing appropriately, we've got you covered!
1. Test your technology
One way to help settle your nerves is to ensure you know the system. Log in ahead of your interview to determine if you’ll encounter any password issues or need to install add-ons to join the call. Test your audio and video to make sure you'll be able to communicate clearly during the interview.
It's a good idea to practise by recording yourself. Use a few common interview questions to practise your responses and refine your body language. Note where to look to create eye contact, and where to sit so you're positioned on-screen at your best angle.
You should also check your video profile is up to date and change the profile photo to your professional headshot.
2. Choose a suitable location
Fine a quiet, well-lit location for your Zoom interview. Make sure there's a solid background behind you and that you won't be interrupted. There’s nothing more distracting than seeing someone walking in the background or hearing a dog bark during the call!
Remember, you wouldn’t be distracted in a face-to-face interview. That simple lack of respect and focus could mean losing out on the job, as some interviewers take this personally.
3. Dress appropriately
Even though the interview is taking place online, it's still important to dress professionally. Wear clothes that you would normally wear to a face-to-face interview. The right outfit will boost your confidence, so put in the effort to dress professionally and don't fall to the temptation of ignoring the bottom half of your body!
Keep it simple when choosing which colours to wear. Grey, navy or brown are safe choices for your jacket. When you're picking your collared shirt or blouse avoid loud patterns, which can be distracting. For accessories, keep it simple with a nice watch for men, or a set of earrings and a necklace for women.
4. Have your documents ready
Make sure you have a copy of your resume and examples of your work on hand. You usually need to bring your documents with you to a job interview, this is no different just because it’s happening via video!
Be prepared to share these documents by having them ready on your desktop or in an open tab. If you choose to use notes or a cheat sheet, make sure you keep them off your screen. Have these on your iPad or notebook next to your computer. It's best to keep your laptop clear of anything that could compromise you if you’re asked to share your screen.
5. Prepare for common interview questions
Do some research on the company and the position you're applying for so you can practise answering common interview questions for the role. We've written some tips on preparing for tricky interview questions in our article here.
6. Use proper Zoom etiquette
Be mindful of Zoom etiquette such as muting your microphone when you're not speaking and maintaining proper body language. It's a little harder to interpret body language and physical cues online, so be conscious of what your body and face are portraying when you’re not speaking. Just because you’re not face-to-face with the interviewer doesn’t mean you won’t need to portray confidence and positivity. You'll need to work harder than ever to connect with your interviewer, as non-verbal cues are more difficult to convey over video.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Depending on the placement of your webcam, this can be easier said than done. Practise ahead of time and alternate between looking at your interviewer on the screen and looking directly into the webcam to create the sensation of eye contact.
Talking slowly and using inflection to emphasise your main points. Keep in mind: Your voice matters more in video than it does in-person.
A few further tips on Zoom etiquette to consider:
Set a virtual background. If you have access to these settings, adjust the background on your screen to be ‘blurred out’ or choose another professional or appropriate image to use as a virtual background.
Keep the noise down. Let other people in the house know in advance to about your interview session. Close the door, and keep pets away - do whatever you can to avoid an awkward moment damaging your chances of moving to the next interview stage.
Do not disturb. Turn on 'do not disturb' settings on your laptop during the interview to avoid any distractions from notifications, calendar reminders or chat messages.
7. Be punctual
Just like with a face to face interview, it's important to be on time for a Zoom interview. Make sure you're logged into Zoom with plenty of time to spare to allow for any technical difficulties when joining the call.
We hope this article has helped you feel more confident and prepared for your online interview! By keeping these 7 essentials in mind, you'll be ready to take the extra steps needed to ace your Zoom call. Because you won’t get as much non-verbal feedback during the conversation, focus on conveying warmth and establishing an emotional connection. Finally, remember be prepared to show your work portfolio by sharing your screen.
If you'd like some help preparing for your interview, reach out to us for an interview preparation session. We'll work with you one on one to practise key interview questions and refine your delivery. Enquire here: