Zoom Interview Tips: Background, Attire & More
Zooming in or out? Let’s do both. Up close, it’s just a Zoom interview tips guide. From afar, it’s the first step on your way to landing your dream job.
As seen in:
Turning on your front camera and, oh, there you are, petrified by your balloon-shaped head.
Your interviewer didn’t see you. Or—
The numero-uno Zoom interview tip: don’t you dare use your phone camera.
Read on to avoid other fiascos.
This guide will show you:
- What is a Zoom interview and how to handle it with success.
- Advice on preparing for a Zoom interview and growing your chances of getting into the next round.
- 10 actionable Zoom interview tips to use before, during, and after your video interview.
- Instructions about the Zoom interview background and your outfit.
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Find more interview guides that’ll come useful to you:
- Job Interview Tips
- Phone Interview Questions
- Informational Interview Questions
- Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers
- Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview
- Interview Questions for Managers
We’re ready when you’re ready.
Find 10 Zoom interview tips that’ll guarantee you a spot in the next interview round:
What is a Zoom interview?
A Zoom interview is a video job interview where you connect remotely with your interviewer using the Zoom application. The majority of companies use it as an alternative to in-person interviews. And one of its greatest perks is that it’s free and easy to download.
So, as Zoom interviews are almost becoming the new norm, you need to know how to handle it. After all, it still is a job interview.
Let’s start from the very beginning.
1. Take It Seriously
As for any other job interview, make sure you confirm the date and time of your Zoom interview. (Remember to check the time zone!) And if, for any reason, you can’t make it, let the recruiter know.
But showing up is not enough. You need to prepare and do it well. Too many umms and errs will rid you of a job opportunity. Research the company and carefully read the job description. Know what qualifications and experience your employer expects and refer to them in your answers.
Not to throw random words at the interviewer, print out your resume. You’ll know which examples you can use to impress.
Tick off the must-haves for an interview: Checklist Of What To Bring To An Interview
2. Check Your Tech
You don’t have to be Elliot Alderson to check if everything’s running. But you should know better than Roy Trenneman, too.
Before the Zoom interview, see if your laptop is fully charged and how’s your Internet connection. You don’t want to sound like a robot or he r ev y wo w d.* Otherwise, the interviewer will have to postpone the meeting.
The last items you want to check are your peripherals. Record a video of you singing and hit replay. That way, you’ll see if your microphone, camera, and headset are working. You can also just say, “Mic test. 1, 2, 3. 3, 2, 1.” but that’s not so fun.
*hear every two words
3. Have a Backup Plan
The nature of technology is that it plays nasty tricks on you whenever you depend on it.
It is what it is.
You can get one step ahead and discuss how you’ll handle possible glitches with the interviewer. Although we said not to use your phone for Zoom interviews, it’s your chance to get back to the discussion pretty quickly if your computer lets you down.
4. Install and Play With the App
Just to be on the safe side—download and install the Zoom application well ahead of the interview. And create an account on the email you used in your job application. Hiring managers won’t take you seriously if your account name is anything other than your full name.
Once it’s up and running, play around with the app. See what functionalities are available, e.g. how you can use the mute option and whether your audio and video settings are correct.
5. Do a Test Run
Imagine you’re decorating your house for Christmas and when the moment comes and the whole family’s there, the tree doesn’t light up.
The intensity of that moment is almost gut-wrenching.
That’s why you have to do a test run. Ask your friend to connect with you via Zoom and see whether everything works. Do it in the room or place where you’ll have the interview, ideally.
Check if there’s good, natural lighting and if your background doesn’t distract the interviewer. It means no laundry, towels, and dirty socks scattered around. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t turn on a virtual background and filters. Reserve that option to conferences with your friends unless you want to appear on national television looking like a cat.
6. Be Early
Just be like the cake your mum loves. Not too sweet and not too heavy. Just perfect.
Simple as that.
Give yourself ten minutes before the interview to grab all your stuff, get to your quiet space, and open the Zoom app. Getting too early can build up your stress. Joining too late—you know the drill.
About the quiet space—ask your family members and roommates not to interrupt you during the interview. Allowing your pet into the room is another bad idea. And turn off any devices near you.
7. Sit Up and Dress Up
You don’t have to make a grand entrance. It’s not the MET gala.
Wear business attire for your Zoom interview, and you’ll be fine. Forget about leaving your pants on the other side of the room in case you have to stand up to handle an unexpected situation. Only Tom Holland can get away with that.
Dressing up is one thing. The other is your body language.
Try not to be uptight. It’s a conversation, so you’re allowed to move your body and use gestures. Smiling does a world of good, too.
And as in every conversation, maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera. It may seem unnatural, but here’s a trick for you: size down the Zoom app window and move it toward your laptop’s camera. That is the closest you can get to make a connection.
Find the latest trends in the job interviews fashion: How To Dress For An Interview
8. Practice Zoom Interview Questions
Technicalities aside, look up questions you can hear in the job interview. Like these, for example:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What are your strengths?
- Why should we hire you?
And because there are different interview styles, behavioral and situational interviews, prepare answer examples for each.
The STAR technique will help you a great deal. It’s a strategy for building interview answers that shuts the door for the interviewer to dig deeper.
“How is that?!”
Well—you just give them exactly what they need, meaning the context, your task, what you did to complete it, and the result.
Find job interview questions and answers in our guide: Top Question And Answers To Practice Before The Job Interview
9. Take Notes
“So, can I lower my eyes from the camera during an interview?”
*shrieks in horror*
Don’t give your interviewer a Michael Myers stare!
Act natural and look down to write items you’d like to ask about later. The same goes for any key details that’ll come helpful in the next round of interviews.
And remember to use your notes and ask your questions. You’ll have a chance to do that at the end. That will be a clear sign of your interest in the position and preparation for the interview.
Here’s a handy list of questions you can ask your interviewer: Questions To Ask At An Interview And Get The Job
10. Email Your Thanks and Follow-Up
The last Zoom interview tip is to help you create an image worth remembering.
No later than 24 hours after your interview, write a thank-you note. It should include your appreciation for the discussion and reinstate your motivation for the job. Drop your thoughts on a few items you discussed and a formal sign-off.
There’s one more email you can use to your advantage—a follow-up email. Send it only when the hiring manager didn’t meet the deadline to get back to you.
Alrighty. Let’s summarize what Zoom interview tips you’ve learned today:
- Reduce all possible distractions in order to avoid getting interrupted during the interview.
- Check your equipment to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Prepare questions and answers, as for any other job interview.
- Wear a formal interview outfit.
- Be yourself and act naturally. Interviewers know when something’s up.
That’s it! You’re ready to ace it.
Please tell us—
Do you have questions about the Zoom interview? Did we miss any Zoom interview tips? What do you think of Zoom backgrounds for interviews?
Give us a shout in the comments! Let’s get the conversation rolling.