8 Tips to Maximize Your Zoom Interviews

Woman interviewing on camera

Interviewing for a job before Covid-19 was stressful. Doing it post-pandemic, through Zoom, can feel a bit different and, at times, a little odd.  These 8 tips will help you get it right!

While an increasing number of companies are shifting to virtual interviews, adjusting to the new digital normal doesn’t have to be traumatic.  You can even use it to your advantage! Here are some tips and basic rules to follow if you want to increase your chances of making a good impression and make the most out of your Zoom interview.

  1. Background and lighting matters – Choose a neutral background like a white wall or a space with a few professional-looking decorations at home, and good lighting. You want interviewers to easily see you. If the lighting is natural, even better. At the same time, having a tidy and decluttered background guarantees that the focus is on you, minimizes the risk of distractions, and speaks to your organizational abilities and detail-oriented skills.
  2. Find a quiet space – A quiet room is not just a place where you can shut the door and not be disturbed. It also means leaving your phone on silent mode and putting it away, as well as turning off any notifications on your computer that might take your focus away from the interview. If you don’t live by yourself or happen to have loud neighbors, it helps to ask them to be considerate during the time of your interview.
  3. Use the company dress code to inspire your outfit – Think about color and contrast. Keeping it formal, with neutrals and clean colors, is a safe bet. While it’s a good idea to avoid bright or flashy colors and eliminate noisy accessories, that doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a suit or dress. It’s important to do some research and take cues from the company subculture to have a better idea as to what to wear and keep the focus on the conversation.
  4. Wear a complete outfit – You wouldn’t walk into an interview without pants. Even if no one can see below your waist, this is no exception. It’s the old confidence boost trick of getting dressed even if you’re not leaving the house: dress as if you were doing the interview in person. Yes, shoes and everything!
  5. Run a test – Prepare two days in advance. Make sure you download the application, run a test with your camera and microphone to ensure everything is working right, and have the meeting link and access code from the employer. You can ask friends and family to run a mock interview with you, where you can test out the software, your answers, and questions. Remember, this is no different than an in-person interview when it comes to preparing: learning about the company, the role and its requirements shows you care. (You can download Zoom here.)
  6. Body language matters – Non-verbal cues, such as smiling or nodding, are more important than ever. Sit up tall, practice using your hands while you speak, and speak slowly and clearly. Remember that gestures, no matter how small, make an impact. It’s even a good idea to put the focus on the interviewer. Just hover over the video and click on the ellipses button to display the menu where you can choose Hide Self View. This shows that you are looking at them and not at yourself during the interview.
  7. Have a plan B for internet connection – We’ve all been there: one second it works, the next it doesn’t. Turning off your camera is always a quick fix to speed things up, but if you want to go a step further in preparing, make sure you download the app on your phone and have enough data to connect for the interview. You can also share it to your computer!
  8. Be on time! – That doesn’t mean logging in thirty minutes early. Many recruiters and interviewers are new to virtual interviewing. Entering the Zoom meeting 2-3 minutes in advance is a good idea. This will allow you to avoid any uncomfortable situations, like virtually walking into a previous interview in session, but still make it to your meeting on time.

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