Almost three years since the ever-important quotes such as “Hi, let me just share my screen,” “Can you hear me?” and “Hi, please unmute your microphone,” and we’re still here. The global pandemic necessitated changes in employment search, which resulted to a cadre of Zoom interviews and meetings. This phenomenon has since become a staple in people’s everyday life under the new normal.
If you were able to have the opportunity to apply for a job during the pandemic, you most likely encountered the app, given that most companies did their job interviews through Zoom. When you received the invitation from a hiring manager for an interview, most likely you also received a Zoom link.
What is a Zoom Interview?
Zoom interviews were the epitome of job interviewing. And while Zoom was founded back in 2011, it really took off in 2020 when people were confined in their homes. At a time when more fortunate businesses sought for ways to stay afloat amid a sea of uncertainty, online transactions were relied upon more than ever. Companies then started doing everything over Zoom, from weekly meetings and to hiring new employees; thereby giving birth to the “Zoom Interview” era.
What to Prepare for a Zoom Interview
Zoom interviews are as nerve-wracking as face-to-face job interviews; they also require more attention from, since the job seeker also has to consider other factors in order to ensure a smooth interview process.
With that, we have rounded up some tips that can help you ace your video interview through Zoom. Browse through them to see what you can apply for your next Zoom interview or meeting.
Once you have confirmed your attendance for the interview, take note of the schedule. You do not want to be late for an interview and have your interviewer wait for a long time. If it helps, incorporate the Zoom meeting link to your online calendar for easier and faster access to the meeting room.
Zoom links and Zoom interviews usually have password protection. In that case, take note of the password of the link as well so you can be on time and lessen the amount of time you would spend scrambling through your emails for that password.
For new users: If you do not have a Zoom app and account yet, set them up before your scheduled Zoom interview. Once the Zoom application is installed on your mobile phone or PC, set up your email or account. In this way, you can check or amp up your Zoom profile before your interviewer sees it.
Additionally, it is also recommended that you set up your Zoom account prior to your interview especially if they would require you to follow a certain naming system. If you are using Zoom on your mobile device, there might be instances wherein the default Zoom account name is your device’s name. You do not want to enter the Zoom call with “Samsung Note 3” as your name.
Place or Room for the Interview
Determine and check the place where you would be during the interview. If you have already decided a place, perhaps your home office, check if your surroundings would be appropriate for your interviewer. Keep in mind that you would most likely be asked to turn on your video, so make sure that what can be seen on camera is something that you would want your potential employer to see.
For the appropriate brightness, make sure you have proper lighting and that your interviewer can see you clearly. It would be helpful if you can have a natural light source or a ring light to have a very presentable view for your interviewer. Also, prepare your surroundings. Declutter your background or anything your interviewer might see. See to it that you are comfortable with your surroundings.
There are lots of green screen filters or virtual backgrounds available on Zoom. If you think that you cannot show your physical background during the Zoom interview, you might want to check out the virtual backgrounds available on Zoom. Aside from that, if your interviewer sent and required you to use a certain background, have it ready. Download the virtual background and upload it as your Zoom background preferably before the actual interview.
Internet connection, including its speed, might be unpredictable. However, it would be very helpful if you can make sure to prepare as much as you can before the Zoom interview. Make sure that your router is located in a safe and stable place that your cat or child will not be able to reach, especially during your interview.
Check your internet connection by testing your speed during the same timeslot as your interview. Look for announcements from your internet service provider to make sure that they do not have a scheduled maintenance during your interview. In a worst-case scenario, you may consider rescheduling if you observe that you are having connection problems. Inform your interviewer if it cannot be resolved right away.
Prepare anything that you will use for the interview. Ready your computer, laptop, or mobile device. These also include your headset, microphone, camera, and speakers. Don’t forget to test them all prior to your Zoom interview. It also helps to have a back-up device, just in case. You can also do a mock-up interview using your whole set-up so you can determine if you have anything to fix.
Even though Zoom interview is just a virtual process, you should still be presentable. During the first year of the pandemic, there was a fashion statement trend of wearing a formal top paired with casual shorts. And to be honest, that’s fine—as long as you are presentable enough when the interviewer sees you virtually. Make sure that you also take note and adhere to the dress code of your interview. Again, be presentable.
Prepare your notes for the interview. Honestly, doing a Zoom interview allows you to do the interview while looking at your notes. Therefore, make the most out of it! If you are still having trouble memorizing your cues or you need your keywords to help you answer the questions, have it flashed on screen! Nonetheless, make sure that this wouldn’t be noticeable enough and still practice, so you will not sound like a robot during the Zoom job interview.
What to Do During a Zoom Interview
1. Be a few minutes early.
A few minutes early in the Zoom meeting room lobby wouldn’t hurt. In fact, in worst-case scenarios, this will give you ample time to inform your hiring manager if the password or link isn’t working. Being a few minutes early also allows you to test your whole setup. You can also check how your hiring manager will see you from their perspective, and you can adjust accordingly if you do not like what you see.
As mentioned earlier, virtual interviews such as Zoom interviews are as nerve-wracking as face-to-face interviews. So, relax. Calm your nerves and stay confident during the interview. It might also help you when you know that your interviewer just sees the ‘you’ that you present on camera. Remember that your interviewer can still see your non-verbal cues from the waist up.
3. Speak loud and clear.
Since you and your hiring manager might be a thousand miles apart, please speak loud and clear. It’s already a struggle that your interviewer cannot see you physically, so it would be helpful for the both of you to speak clearly.
4. Focus on the interview.
You may not be physically present during the interview, but be present and in the moment. Focus on the interview and do nothing else. Your hiring manager will be able to see you if you decide to watch your favorite show while doing the Zoom interview.
Download this infographic here: Dos and Don’ts During a Zoom Interview
What Not to Do During a Zoom Interview
1. Play music.
It’s already a struggle that you and your interviewer both rely on the devices that you would use during the Zoom interview. Playing music that would distract the both of you will not be helpful. Your interviewer might not be able to hear you and your answers if she can hear your favorite albums blasting on your speakers during the interview.
2. Do anything else.
A Zoom interview usually lasts between 10 to 30 minutes. It wouldn’t be too much to ask if you can just focus on your interview and do nothing else. It would be very impressive if your interviewer can see that you are giving your 100% focus and attention to the interview. It shows your discipline and commitment.
3. Surf and browse the internet or use your phone.
Even if you think you are sneaky enough to send updates to your friends during the interview, your interview most likely knows that you are texting someone right in front of them. Your interviewer can also see if you are doing anything else during the interview. To show respect, just put your phone away, close any tabs on your computer, and just focus on the interview.
Even if the work-from-home set-up blurred the lines of some corporate rules, eating during an interview might just be a little too much. Other than being distracting, eating while doing a Zoom interview also exudes disrespectfulness and unprofessionalism.
Ready to Own the Corporate World and Jumpstart Your Career?
These are just tips for doing an interview, particularly Zoom interviews. If you need more helpful tips on how to jumpstart your career, you can check out our useful blogs here. You can check out some tips on how to excel on in current career path or some practical advice should you want to start a new career. Resume Professional Writers is here to help you with your career and ace that professional path of yours. Good luck!