The pandemic resulted in most companies opting for video interviews during their hiring process. It makes sense, as video interviews are location-independent, quick, and easy to set up. While there are multiple players in the video conferencing industry, Zoom is one of the most dominant platforms used by employers for interviews.
In short, if you’ve been invited for a virtual job interview, chances of it being hosted by Zoom are pretty high. With this in mind, let’s look at some top tips to help you succeed.
Technical Tips to Prepare for a Zoom Interview
1. Try Zoom in advance
Zoom interview invites usually come attached with Zoom video links. While you can join a Zoom meeting without any preparation, we strongly suggest doing a dry run before the interview. You can either open the interview link directly on your browser or install the Zoom app on your machine. If you already have the app installed, trying out the link in advance will allow you to know if it needs any upgrades for better quality and performance.
Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview
2. Make sure audio & video are connected
You won’t be able to go far in your interview without working video and audio. To ensure your audio is in working order, open the Zoom app and select the ‘Test Speaker and Microphone’. This will allow your system to run an automated check, letting you know if you need to make any adjustments.
Regarding video, go to the ‘Video setting’ option in Zoom and make any required changes. You have the option to choose the camera, in case you have an external camera with a higher resolution. Also, you can select the ‘mirror your video’ option depending on your preference and even adjust the lighting compensating for your background.
3. Understand how to share screen
Screen sharing may be essential to your interview. Regardless of whether a presentation is included in your upcoming interview, it is always good to make sure you know how to share your screen. To do this in Zoom, you can simply click on the ‘Share Screen’ button and choose the window you want to share. You can even opt for a whiteboard or choose a screen from a different device depending on your need. Again, we suggest trying this feature in advance.
4. Check out the chat functionality
If you are required to share a link to your portfolio, website, or anything else during the interview, chat can be a great tool. If you’re looking to do this in Zoom, simply click on the chat option available in the main menu and a chat box will appear on the right-hand side of the screen. You can then send your message there to everyone or a specific person depending on your needs.
5. Use a virtual background
Sometimes, our background may be subpar or simply not aligned with our needs. If you find yourself in this position, a virtual background can be a great alternative. You can activate the virtual background by clicking on the ‘Choose virtual background’ option in the video settings menu. Then, you can either go for the ‘blur’ option that will blur your background or go for something that aligns with your personal brand. However, we don’t suggest going overboard with your background.
6. Go full-screen
We suggest going full-screen during your Zoom interview. This will allow you to keep away from any distractions, such as any software updates taking place in the background or email notifications. It will also let you see other people more clearly. To go full screen, click on view on the top right corner and choose ‘Full screen’ or simply double click anywhere in the video window. This will maximize your window to full screen. To go back to press Esc or double click again.
7. End the call properly
Last but not the least, end your call properly. While it is normal to feel exhausted after the interview, make sure you close off the call window correctly. Not doing so may leave you online without your knowledge. This may result in your interviewers listening to seeing anything not meant for them. To end a call successfully, click on the ‘x’ button and choose ‘leave meeting’, ensuring both your audio and video are successfully disconnected.
Other Handy Tips for a Successful Zoom Interview
8. Dress for success
Even if you aren’t fully visible during a Zoom interview, we strongly recommend opting for a polished look. Employers appreciate candidates who put the effort into dressing appropriately for an interview. Also, your attire can be a great motivator, making you sound and look more confident. Thus, while it may be tempting to wear shorts or half pants in a virtual interview, don’t.
If you are interviewing for a company in a traditional industry, such as banking, dress up in formals. If you are interviewing for a start-up job, it would be safe to use smart casual attire. In any case, matching the employer’s style is always a good idea.
9. Keep your body language in check
Body language can have a tremendous impact on your interview. Don’t let the lack of physical interaction in the Zoom interview let you forget the importance of non-verbal cues. For example, if you are sitting on a revolving chair, you may unknowingly keep moving.
10. Use notes
One of the benefits of video interviews is that you can use notes when needed. As part of your interview preparation, you can note key information about the interviewers, the roles, or your answers. Also, we suggest making notes during the interview for anything important to avoid forgetting. You can do this using pen and paper or electronically using a note-taking app.