Even before the coronavirus pandemic, job interviews were beginning to involve more screen time as employers opted to use video conferencing software, such as Zoom, to connect with job candidates instead of traditional in-person meetings. However, since the onset of the pandemic and the importance of social distancing, Zoom interviews have become the singular way that employers are hiring.
Although your interview is happening virtually, it is still a real interview! You still need to put in the same amount of preparation that you would have to go into an office.
1. Learn Zoom
Zoom is a free app that can be downloaded on a computer or mobile device. It’s a good idea to start practicing on Zoom during your free time. This way, you will have no issues when your interview is scheduled. Practice for your interview by recording yourself on video and playing it back to check your audio and video quality and speaking pace.
2. Come prepared
Your video interview will be just as if you were having in-person interview, so your preparation should reflect that. Here are a few things to research to help you prepare:
- The company where you are interviewing for a position
- The position you are interviewing for
- The company’s top and most recent achievements
3. Get rid of distractions
In a face-to-face meeting, distractions can happen, but the interviewer and the candidate would break from the conversation at the same time. But in a Zoom interview, the hiring manager will not know that there is a knock at your door or an email notification on your screen. You do not want to miss an important question or an opportunity to display your knowledge. To have a successful interview via Zoom, you must remember to turn off all notifications and set up in a quiet, distraction-free area.
4. Find a neutral background
More than any other tip, pros say that careful attention to your background is critical. You don’t want a pile of messy clothes or your unmade bed in the background. Find a spot where you have a blank wall behind you or at the very least, with neat and tidy surroundings.
5. Make “eye contact”
Be sure to look directly at the camera. Looking at the camera is as close as you can get to making eye contact with the interviewer. If you shrink the size of the Zooms app’s window and position it as close as possible to the location of the webcam, you should have no problem!
6. Dress to Impress
When you get dressed for a video interview, you want to be just as formal as you would be for an in-person interview. This means from head to toe. Even if the interviewer can’t see your lower half, you will feel more confident if you are fully put together.
7. Test your equipment
Because we all know technology has a mind of its own, be sure you are all set for the Zoom interview.
- Check your Internet connection. You want to make sure your Internet is working properly and it is up to par in terms of its normal speed. If not, reset your modem or router.
- Use a computer. You may be able to get a more stable Internet connection on a desktop or laptop computer compared to using a mobile device. Plus, the sound may come across a little louder and clearer.
- Charge your laptop. If using a laptop, make sure it is fully charged since being on Zoom for a good amount of time can impact your battery.
If you need to troubleshoot, follow these tips:
- Move closer to your router if your connection is spotty
- Always assume your camera is on, even when you know you turned it off
- Check to make sure your speakers and mic are turned on if you’re having audio problems.
- Use the chat feature to inform the interviewer that you can’t hear them.