Zoom has become a common platform for job interviews these days, and the web conferencing software offers many of the same elements as an in-person interview.
By remotely connecting the employer and potential employee, you can take part in a job interview without ever leaving home, but some preparation is needed to succeed.
How do you prepare for a Zoom interview?
A Zoom interview requires the same level of preparation you would do for a regular interview, but with additional planning like audio and video testing, as well as a reliable internet connection. You’ll still be required to speak about your skills and experience, be presentable, and know about the role and organization you’re applying to, but the entire process will be conducted virtually.
A Zoom interview can still be a daunting process, but with a bit of preparation, you can ease your nerves.
This guide to Zoom interviews will help alleviate the stress and ensure you’re ready for anything and have the best chance of success.
Zoom vs Traditional Interviews: What’s the Difference?
An interview is a common procedure for a company looking to hire a new employee, and traditionally, this is done at the proposed workplace.
Zoom offers a platform to conduct interviews remotely, and it’s a piece of software that connects two or more people together with audio and video over the internet in a virtual meeting room.
Depending on the job you’re going for, the standard process for an interview on Zoom should be much the same as in person. You’ll set up a time that suits, give them your Zoom details, and set up a room or space where it’s quiet and you won’t be interrupted so the interview can run smoothly.
During the process, the interviewer will ask you questions about your skills, experience, and suitability for the job, as well as others like behavioral questions, to get an idea of how you’d handle certain situations.
The biggest benefit of having a Zoom interview is that it can be done remotely, which is great for work from home jobs, positions that are in a different location to where you are currently, or as a safe alternative while restrictions are in place due to Covid-19.
Testing Your Audio, Video, and Internet Connection
Before the interview, you’ll need to spend some time setting up the space you plan on meeting from. This includes testing out the audio and video quality, as well as ensuring you have a reliable internet connection.
To get it right, you’ll want to set up a test meeting with a friend or family member and have your phone or computer positioned exactly where it will be during the interview. This will show you what it looks like in terms of lighting and angles, and points out any potential issues with internet connectivity.
Run through a few test questions so they can gauge your audio and video quality as well. There are options to adjust these settings in Zoom, and it’s better to do it before the interview starts than find half-way through that something needs to be fixed.
Dress to Impress
A common misconception about virtual interviews is that you don’t need to go to as much effort in your presentation because you’re not in person.
This is, of course, untrue, as you’re still in the view of a potential employer thanks to the remote connection and first impressions still matter.
The best attire for a Zoom interview is professional clothing, but this also depends on the industry you’re in. It might not always be suitable to wear a tie and buttoned shirt, and in some cases, your formal business attire could be even more strict. If you’re unsure, wearing professional attire is the best approach.
As you’re dealing with a virtual meeting room, you’ll want to keep the colors and design fairly basic as well. Avoid bright colors or statement pieces as they may not translate well over a video connection and can be distracting.
The idea is to look professional but subtle so that the focus is on the interview and what you have to say, rather than what you’re wearing.
The Importance of Body Language
Body language is one of the key ways that we communicate, and even though you’re connected virtually with an interviewer, a potential employer will be able to pick up on these signals.
In most interviews, only your upper half will be seen, so it’s important to follow these body language tips:
- Maintain good eye contact at all times, and look directly at the interviewer when delivering your answers.
- Try to keep gestures to a minimum as they can be distracting.
- Keep your posture straight at all times without looking like it’s too forced.
- When leaning in as someone talks, try not to come in too far, otherwise, it can look awkward on camera.
- Smile when it’s genuinely required but avoid keeping a fake smile on your face for the whole interview. A simple nod does better in most circumstances.
Tips to Nail a Zoom Interview
As the world starts to get accustomed to remote interviews, we learn more about what’s required to do them right.
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you nail your Zoom interview with expert advice from those who have gone before you.
- Keep it clutter-free: Make sure there are no distractions on the desk in front of you and nothing that will distract the interviewer either. Choose a backdrop like a blank wall or use one of Zoom’s built-in backgrounds if you’re unable to find somewhere non-distracting.
- Tell your household: Inform all members of your household that you’ll be having an interview and make plans to go somewhere else if you don’t think they can be quiet. Stay away from others in a quiet room and lock the door so there’s less chance of interruptions, and put your phone on silent mode.
- Be prepared for anything: Working online comes with issues, like network dropouts or failed audio connections. Be prepared to fix it quickly or know how to troubleshoot common issues so it’s not a bigger deal than it has to be.
- Write down your answers: Think about the most common interview questions and have your questions written down and well-practiced. Keep brief notes somewhere you can see them if you’re concerned, but make sure they can’t be seen on camera.
- Know some questions: Have a few questions ready to ask the interviewer when they prompt you too. Don’t have just one in case it gets answered for you during the interview.
- Learn about the company: Spend some time researching the company, other roles, their history, products and services, and what they expect from you in the role you’ve applied for. Go into the interview prepared and with a good understanding of what they’re looking for.
- Be on time: Don’t attempt to join the meeting room too far in advance from your interview, as this shows that you can’t follow directions, and certainly don’t be late. For a Zoom interview, arriving just a few minutes before the designated time is the right thing to do.
The Modern Way to Land a Job
A Zoom interview can be more enjoyable than an in-person one because you can feel relaxed doing it from your own space.
However, preparation plays a big role in the success of these remote interviews, so make sure you’ve put in the planning to succeed in this type of unique setup.
Zoom has become an essential business tool in many industries and careers, and interviews are just one way that we’ve been able to transition our everyday lives online.
To learn more about Zoom and the right way to conduct an interview on this remote platform, we’ve answered some popular questions to help you get informed.
Can I Do A Zoom Interview On My Phone?
Zoom has a mobile function that allows users to have meetings through their iOS or Android smartphone, where possible.
Before the interview starts, test the function to make sure your device is capable of the function and that the audio and video are working, and then access the Zoom meeting by clicking on the link provided by the employer from your phone.
How Early Should You Be For A Zoom Interview?
Unlike an in-person interview where people recommend showing up early, it doesn’t make as much sense to do this in a virtual meeting room and it can potentially kick someone else out of the room.
A good guide is to enter the online meeting around two to three minutes before the interview is scheduled to start, but no earlier than this.