A zoom interview has all the challenges of a job interview plus the complications of doing it online. You will come across technical issues and other visual problems. While mastering the interview is a common practice, etiquette surrounding a zoom interview is different from both in-person and phone interviews. Here are 9 tips to help you nailing a zoom interview.
Look at the camera, not the screen
It is very tempting to watch yourself or your interviewer during a zoom session, but looking directly at the video camera is the only way to maintain direct eye contact with your interviewer.
Dress to impress
While a formal dress code is expected you need to alter it for a video interview slightly. Wear contrasting colors, for instance, a light colored shirt and a dark colored suit. Darker colors appear better on camera rather than light shades. Also, avoid wearing jewelry or shiny objects or clothing that may reflect on the camera.
Prepare your surroundings
Pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen. Remove anything distracting behind you and keep it neutral.
Test and troubleshoot for technical issues
The biggest challenge for a zoom interview is the technical challenges that may come up. You may have problems with the equipment (headphone, camera, laptop etc.) and internet issues like disconnection or erratic connection. You need to test all your gear for a zoom interview beforehand and see how you fare in it. Have a contingency plan in place; you can have a spare laptop or even keep a smartphone handy to complete the zoom interview just in case. However, avoid using a smartphone as it will not allow the same visual effect as a laptop. Keep another internet connection handy, maybe the WiFi plus your phone network to connect in case of problems.
Practice makes perfect
Doing a run through interview with a friend beforehand is helpful because your first few Zoom calls are likely to feel awkward, especially if you have to retrain yourself to watch the camera and not the screen. Play around with everything beforehand so that when it’s interview time, you can shine without being distracted by the program.
Close other programs on your computer
Getting Facebook notifications during your interview is distracting and unprofessional. Before your interview, make sure all other windows on your computer are closed (especially if they make noise).
Don’t be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume handy when you interview. A benefit of having a Zoom interview is that you can have a cheat sheet in front of you so that you don’t have to memorize everything you want to mention.
If you are interviewing in a house with multiple people or pets, be sure to let everyone in the house know ahead of time that you will be in an interview while securing any animals away from your interview space. Nothing is less professional than having to tell your potential employer to hang on while you shoo your dog away from the camera.
A thank-you letter is just as important after a Zoom interview as it is in an in-person interview. Avoid following up on Zoom, though, unless the interviewer requests it!
Apart from these handy interview tips, the most important key to a successful zoom interview is confidence. The Zoom interview is an intimate job interview, and the recruiter is entirely focused on you, so make sure you are present in the moment and give them enough reasons to hire you.