26 Jun 7 Tips to Zoom Interview Like A Pro
So, you have an interview even during the current healthcare crisis—congratulations! You are turning heads with your skills, experience, and resume, during a pandemic no less. You’re almost ready for a face-to-face talk with a hiring manager that could be life and career-altering. Ready to ace that interview?
Maybe a few tips can help. Because let’s face it, interviewing can be intimidating in a regular, in-person setting. Video conference interviews have a few more moving parts and can be extra intense if you’re camera shy.
I’ve pulled together some tips to help you nail that next interview—whether it’s on Zoom, WebEx, or Skype—I’ve got you covered!
1. Find the perfect place.
Do you have a quiet corner in your house or apartment with a window nearby? You want that natural glow to keep the conversation personable. Try to sit facing light or a window. Do a test run and double-check your glasses or jewelry for excessive glare that can get distracting.
Avoid sitting right in front of a window or lamp—backlighting creates shadows.
Find the best possible background—one that’s basic, clean, and limits distractions. If you’re agonizing over which wall works best for you, use a custom background instead. Zoom has a handful you can upload—applications like Microsoft Teams have ready-to-go options right in the meeting menu.
2. Maintain eye contact.
I know! You need to make confident eye contact in any interview, but it can be tougher when you’re on video. Here’s how to get it just right:
If you’re using your phone to interview, go hands-free if you can. Purchasing a cost-effective phone mount is ideal—then you can stick it to your window or on the wall nearby your light source. If you can’t get your hands on a smartphone mount then you can prop your phone on a nearby shelf or even a stack of binders.
If you’re interviewing via webcam, make sure you’re positioned at eye-level with the camera lens. If you have more than one monitor, make sure the one with the camera is squared perfectly centered in front of you.
3. Position for success.
Don’t lean in towards the camera, it will make you look larger-than-life and not in a good way. Instead, sit up straight and try to leave 10-20% space over your head in the camera view.
Try to act naturally—the way you would in person. Smile, laugh if the hiring manager jokes around, nod occasionally while she’s speaking to show you’re listening.
Hand gestures are normally a great way to show your confidence and even build trust, but it can look awkward on camera. If you’re using a virtual background, the view of your hands can get broken up or pixelated.
4. Eliminate distractions, but don’t agonize.
Try to prevent any possible interruptions—screaming toddler, barking dogs, gurgling dishwasher. But if something happens, take it in stride and don’t panic. Laugh it off if someone starts the dryer mid-way through your interview, We’ve never done more laundry in our lives since going remote, and we aren’t even going anywhere!
Your interviewer understands the limitations of taking meetings from home and they’ll appreciate the brevity.
5. Dress your best.
Just because you aren’t going into the office doesn’t mean you don’t want to break out your best business formal. Dress the way you normally would for an interview, it shows you’re taking the process seriously and looking polished and put together actually makes you feel more polished and put together.
It will shine through in your presence—even if they can’t see those amazing shoes.
6. Run a test interview.
Set up a dry run with a friend or family member on the same platform the employer is using—most of them offer a free version. This test drive lets you familiarize yourself with all those handy functions so you can mute yourself on the fly and end the call when the interview is over to avoid an awkward, slow goodbye.
Also, you’ll get to see how you’ll look during the interview. Bonus? This is your moment to start getting comfortable talking on camera if you don’t FaceTime regularly.
The dry run also helps you make sure your internet connection and technology are all up-and-running, connected, and working just right.
7. Get ready for go-time.
Practice, practice, practice. Video interviews take preparation, just like a regular interview. You’ll want to prep a little more so you aren’t relying too much on your notes. Shuffling through notes or glancing at another monitor can look sloppy over video, or like you aren’t fully engaged.
Make sure you have a pad set to the side to jot down fast takeaways that will help you craft the perfect thank you email. And, as usual, research the potential employer’s business ahead of time. Make sure you’re familiar with their mission and any details posted about their culture online so you can show you’ve done your homework and you’re serious about working for their company.
Need help snagging more video interviews?
At Staffing Strong, we are here to help you find the perfect position—in any job market. Drop us a line and submit your resume.
Meet the Author
Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!