Traditional offices have converged online, and most organizations have turned to work-from-home setups, making video conferencing platforms like Zoom a business necessity. So it’s no surprise that these videoconferencing platforms also help with hiring by making it possible to conduct interviews online. The trouble is that giving an interview online is a lot different than doing it in person. Since it’s our job to help talented professionals find amazing careers, we’re here to help you ace your Zoom interview with this quick guide.
Let’s get started!
Download and get familiar with the Zoom app
While Skype is a personal favorite, organizations across the globe are opting for online communication platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. So, if you aren’t already familiar with platforms like Zoom, now is the time to download the app and experiment with their features.
For example, attending a Zoom video calls requires you to check your email and access a personal meeting link and access code. Knowing how to handle these technicalities can help you better prepare for your Zoom interview.
Be punctual – always
While it isn’t entirely practical for you to show up early to a Zoom interview, being on time is never a bad habit (even under normal circumstances).
“If you log into the interview and hit a window that says ‘Waiting for the host to start the meeting,’ you’ve done well – this means you’ve beat your interviewer to the interview, and you’ll be waiting for them when they arrive. That’s a pretty good look.”
That’s why we recommend setting up a reminder for ten minutes before your scheduled interview, so you have time to seat yourself and go over any notes or questions you have prepared. If you log into the interview and hit a window that says “Waiting for the host to start the meeting,” you’ve done well – this means you’ve beat your interviewer to the interview, and you’ll be waiting for them when they arrive. That’s a pretty good look.
That said, if you’re unable to attend the interview in time due to unexpected circumstances, make sure you inform your hiring manager well in advance and explain your situation once you join the meeting.
Test your tech gear
Given that video interviews can be nerve-wracking for the unacquainted, you should make an effort to test run the platform and see how it works with your gear.
Don’t wait until the last minute to find that your microphone isn’t configured properly, or your laptop camera isn’t working. Here are a few tips:
- Set up your account and download the software.
- Install the app on your phone as a backup, in case the software on your laptop fails during your interview.
- Get a friend to help you test your audio and video – and make sure both are working.
- Tried and tested – stick to using earphones! They help improve your sound quality and ensure interviewers can hear you clearly.
- Make sure you close any open programs and extra tabs you don’t need open: they not only slow down your PC but can also diminish the quality of the video and audio feed during your Zoom interview.
In case things do go wrong during the interview, leverage the chat feature, and keep your interviewer informed on what’s going on.
Prepare for your Zoom interview in advance
While this holds true for all phone and video interviews, you should list down any notes and questions you have for your interviewer in a cheat sheet. A cheat sheet is especially valuable for your Zoom interview, given that you can place it strategically (out of the camera’s view, of course.)
“A cheat sheet is especially valuable for your Zoom interview, given that you can place it strategically (out of the camera’s view, of course.)”
Reference this occasionally throughout the course of your Zoom interview – so you can remember points to help you stand out, as well as questions you need to ask your hiring manager.
Keep calm, carry on – and embrace awkward silent moments you’re bound to experience in your Zoom interview.
As a form of courtesy, thank your interviewer in an email after the video call. Remember to work your charm and come across as impassioned, caring, and witty.
Take the next step and prepare for a career online. Good luck with your Zoom interview!