Should you be appearing for a Zoom interview shortly, here’re 30 superb tips that might be help you get that job you always dream about.
The reason is simple: it’s important to make an excellent impression upon the interviewer or a panel of interviewers online. Unfortunately, most jobseekers take Zoom interviews for granted and never prepare adequately for them.
Therefore, in this article, I will speak about 30 proven Zoom interview tips to get your dream job. Sounds interesting? Continue reading.
Why Zoom Interviews Are Held?
There’re several reasons why employers, Human Resources managers and administration officials hold Zoom interviews nowadays. Let’s explore these reasons before I move on to speak about the 30 amazing tips that could land you that dream job.
1. The New Normal
Nowadays, we’re living in the post-Covid-19 world. The pandemic which began in late 2019 continues to ravage the world though we’re now in 2021.
As a result, one-on-one or face-to-face interviews where you could meet the interviewers in person at a venue or office has become a rarity nowadays.
Instead, recruiters now prefer to have Zoom interviews, mainly due to the need for social distancing to avoid any risks of contagion.
From the time when no one had an idea about what is zoom interview to the times when every next job seeker is appearing for a zoom interview the employers have developed various new interview taking techniques.
2. Hiring Remote Staff
We’re living in an era where globalization is rampant. Businesses that were once operating in America are now spreading their footprint worldwide. This means that companies across USA have to hire remote staff to work at such locations.
It’s not always possible or even feasible for recruiters to travel to distant places merely to hire one remote worker. Hence, they conduct virtual interviews on Zoom.
3. Widespread Use of Freelancers
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, freelancing has become rampant. In fact, over 49 percent of the American workforce now works as freelancers.
The other reason is that freelancers also earn more money compared over regular office going staff.
And companies hire freelancers on short-term or long-term contracts for specific skills. They usually hire freelancers from various websites such as Upwork.com or FlexJobs.com among others. Such buyers of freelance talent also conduct Zoom interviews.
4. Admissions to Foreign Universities
In the US and elsewhere, there’s a system of interviewing a prospective foreign student before granting them admission to the university for a chosen course. Here, interviewers try to gauge the aptitude of the student for the course.
American universities and colleges account for whopping 1.1 million admissions of foreign students every year. Hence, university officials and members of faculties also conduct Zoom interviews of foreign students.
5. Visa Interviews
Several countries, including USA conduct an interview of visa seekers. They do so to ensure that no suspected illegal migrants, criminals and terrorists or people with dubious character enter the country.
The reason is to safeguard America and its peoples against crimes and acts of terrorism.
Due to the new normal, consular officials of certain countries now conduct Zoom interviews of visa seekers before deciding on granting or denying a visa to an applicant.
30 Zoom Interview Tips for Your Dream Job
As we can see, there’re five types of interviews that’re generally conducted over Zoom. There’re other reasons for Zoom interviews too. However, in this article, we will stick to those that could help you land that dream job.
These online interview tips would help you prepare for a Zoom interview, similar to how you would for a face-to-face type ones.
1. Clean Up Your Computer
Clean up your computer. This is the first and most important tip for every jobseeker that would appear for a Zoom interview.
This means, clearing all unwanted software from your PC or laptop or even smartphone. And clearing the memory cache of all unwanted clutter.
The reason is simple. Lots of unwanted software and apps on your computer and smartphone tends to slacken the speed of Zoom. Additionally, it can affect the sound and video quality too when you’re actually on an interview for that dream job.
I suggest you check- both your computer and smartphone for unwanted software and apps and uninstall them. Also clear your Internet browser cache of all cookies. Clear your browsing history too.
2. Download Zoom
Download Zoom, both on your computer and smartphone. The app is available for all uses- Windows and Mac as well as iPhones and Android-based smartphones.
These downloads are free. You don’t really require the paid version. That’s because Zoom allows up to 45 minutes of free video conferencing and file-sharing on its free version. Subscribing can prove expensive.
Usually, the host, which means the interviewer will send you a link to connect with them over Zoom.
That’s because they would have the paid version which allows unlimited access. There’re no time limitations on the paid versions, which costs $50 and upwards, depending upon the type of subscription.
Since the interviewer will be sending the link to Zoom, all you need to do is login for the interview. You needn’t worry about the time it takes, since the recruiter has a paid version.
3. Get High Speed, Reliable Internet Connection
A superb, high-speed and reliable Internet connection is a ‘must have’ for every Zoom interview.
If your Internet speed is slow and the connection keeps snapping, chances are that you will create a very poor impression. And that could cost you the dream job because the interview didn’t go well.
I can fully understand that not many people can afford high speed Internet connections merely for job interviews.
If that’s your case, you can always take a high speed and larger data connection on your smartphone from the telecom services provider. And you can easily tether your phone to the computer at the time of the Zoom interview.
4. Noise Cancelling Headset or Earphones
As a rule, never depend upon cheap earphones and headsets to appear for a Zoom interview.
Instead, invest some money on buying high-quality noise cancelling earphones or headset. You can find plenty of such excellent headsets and earphones on Amazon and other online stores.
The reason I’m asking you to invest on noise cancelling headset or earphones is simple. These types of earphones offer clear audio quality and cancel any background noise while you’re talking over Zoom.
They also eliminate any sound from other sources when you listen. This enables you to listen to questions very clearly and respond to them accordingly.
Unfortunately, lots of people miss out on superb jobs for one simple reason. They couldn’t hear the questions properly or their audio quality was so poor that the interviewer missed the answer. I also suggest that you check the sound quality of your new headset or earphones.
5. Test Audio Jack on Your Computer and Mobile
Very often, the audio jack on your computer and mobile could be loose or defective. That can result in static like sounds and poor audio quality.
This is harmful for your career prospects while appearing for a Zoom interview. Neither you nor the interviewer would be able to listen clearly to what you’re saying or what a recruiter is asking.
If that’s the case, get the audio jack on your computer and smartphone fixed immediately. In some cases, it could be just a minor problem such as a loose connection.
In other cases, you might have to get a new jack installed altogether. This could cost a little bit of money but the expense would be well justified since you’re applying and appearing for an interview for your dream job.
5. Select a Silent Area at Home
Your home is the best location for a Zoom interview to get that dream job. That’s because you’ll feel more comfortable while appearing for the interview.
Also, you can ask your family not to disturb you during the interview. Therefore, select a silent area at your house from where you can appear for the Zoom interview.
Preferably, such an area should be away from TV, phone and if possible, traffic noise. That’s because sounds from vehicles and electronic appliances can distract you while leaving a poor impression with the interviewer.
It may not be always possible to remove traffic noise if you’re living near some busy road. In such cases, select a room that’s away from the road and noise levels are relatively lower.
6. Create a Proper Background
You’ll require a proper background while appearing for a Zoom interview. This means, the scene behind you should be pleasant.
However, it should be clear enough so that the interviewer can see your face and upper half of the body. Therefore, selecting the right background is important.
For a superb background, I would suggest you use a white wall or use a white curtain or cloth screen.
This ensures that interviewers can see your face and features clearly. You can also use large sheets of white or off-white papers to create a temporary screen for your Zoom interview to land that dream job.
At all costs, avoid floral curtains or those with patterns since they will blur your face and features. If you don’t have a white cloth that you can use as curtain, select any other light shade or paper.
Ensure that your background is free of other things such as wall hangings and decorations.
Make sure you test the headphone or earphones. I suggest you avoid Bluetooth type ones and instead use wired ones.
That’s because Bluetooth connections can snap during an interview and you would have to switch it on again. This results in waste of time and can leave a bad impression with interviewers.
7. Find Cyber-cafe or Coffee Shop if Necessary
And Ii the above is not possible, try and find a cybercafé or a coffee shop which has a high speed, reliable Internet connection. Generally, these kinds of outlets have dedicated Internet services for their customers.
Speak well in advance with the cybercafé or coffee shop owner or manager that you would be appearing for an interview on a specific date. And that you require a silent corner to appear for the interview. They would willingly offer you such a place, for a small fee sometimes.
At the same time, make sure that the coffee shop or cybercafé has the right background that would help both you and the interviewer.
As a rule, never use a place that serves alcohol as the place from where you’ll appear for a Zoom interview. That would leave a very poor impression with the interviewers.
8. Use Brightly Lit Room or Space
The room or space you’ll use for the Zoom interview should be brightly lit. If necessary, fix luminescent bulbs or tubes in the room on a temporary basis to brighten up the room.
If possible, try and eliminate any shadows that may appear behind you and especially on your face and upper half of the body. Your face should be very clearly visible to the interviewer.
At the same time, take care to ensure that the bright lighting doesn’t affect your eyes. Or that the room becomes warm and uncomfortable due to extra lighting. It’s also fine to use natural sunlight if your room has a large window.
That would be more comfortable. However, ensure that external noises such as birds chirping doesn’t affect your audio during the Zoom interview.
9. Air Conditioners and Heaters
This depends upon the time of the year when you would appear for the Zoom interview. If the place you’ll use gets warmer during summers, use an air conditioner or cooler to get the right temperature.
You would surely want to avoid sweating during the interview since it can create a negative impact on the interviewer. And if it’s winter time, set your room heater to a comfortable and cozy temperature.
The more comfortable you are during a Zoom interview, the better your chances of answering all questions successfully to get your dream job. Air conditioning and heating is a part of Zoom interviews that most candidates miss upon.
Therefore, they end up feeling uncomfortable during the interview. This sends wrong signals to the recruiter. They might suspect you’re fibbing or not telling the full truth.
10. Familiarize Yourself with Zoom
Now Zoom is a software that witnessed rampant growth during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, when most businesses had to shift to online working.
They began using Zoom to stay in touch with their staff members. Maybe you too have used Zoom earlier but have never given a Zoom interview.
Therefore, the best thing to do is start familiarizing yourself with Zoom and its features. Test the audio and video quality with the background as I mention above. You will also come across some unwanted sounds in your room.
These could be from family talking to phone, barking dogs, vehicles, music from neighbors, own TV set or telephone or other sources. These are disturbances that need to be reduced and eliminated where possible.
11. Prepare Scans of Your Documents
One very important tip I can provide to appear for a Zoom interview for your dream job is to get scans of all your documents ready well in time for the date.
This means, getting your CV or Resume, educational certificates, certificates from extracurricular activities, reference letters, past and previous employment contract or appointment letters, affiliation cards or certificates from any professional organization and reference letters scanned.
Create a folder on your computer to keep these scanned copies. Take care to see that the scans are crystal clear and can be seen easily by the interviewer. This means, the letterhead, signatures and all other features of these certificates and letters should be clearly visible for screen sharing.
12. Acquaint Yourself with Screen Sharing
During an interview, the recruiter would definitely wish to see your CV or Resume. And certificates, reference letters, past employment contracts and other documents.
Therefore, acquaint yourself with the screen sharing feature on Zoom. This means, you can share what’s on your computer screen.
To do so, you will have to keep the special folder where you’ve kept all the document scans. And share them when asked. Therefore, name all the scans properly.
For example, if you’ve a scan of your college degree, name it accordingly. And for reference letters, name them as ‘Reference Letter-1’, ‘Reference Letter-2’ and so on.
By properly naming each scan, you can open the right document to share on screen with the recruiter. You wouldn’t have to fumble around and open various documents before finding the right ones to display.
This can save you and the interviewers a lot of time and help avoid some embarrassment. Proper screen sharing will also indicate you’re well organized which in turn translates as an excellent impression. No employer wants staffers that aren’t well organized.
13. Conduct Mock Interviews
Now that you’re all set, conduct mock interviews over Zoom. For this, you can ask a relative or friend to conduct such mock interviews with you over Zoom.
Tell them to ask for your CV or Resume and other documents online, so that you can learn screen sharing too. This gives you an opportunity to use all features of Zoom and get familiar on how to use them.
I suggest you conduct as many mock interviews as possible. If you know some HR manager or recruiter, or have a relative or friend who’s at such positions, you can ask them too.
There’s an old adage that says: “Practice makes a person perfect.” Therefore, the more you practice with Zoom, the better your chances of succeeding at the interview to get your dream job.
Never leave anything for the last moment. Even if you’ve used Zoom in the past, remember that an interview is an altogether different thing.
And you would definitely love to clear the interview successfully. Hence, practice with Zoom is of vital importance.
14. Prepare with Zoom Interview Questions
You can expect lots of questions during a Zoom interview compared over a personal one. That’s because every recruiter wants to make sure they’re hiring the right candidate for the role.
A bad hire can cost a company anything between $4,000 and $150,000 or even more in terms of recruitment expenses and sometimes, lawsuits.
During a one-on-one interview, a recruiter is able to see you in person. That’s not possible during a Zoom interview. Hence, employers tend to ask more questions than a personal interview. However, this is nothing to worry about, as I will explain now.
Usually, most questions that an interviewer would ask will be the same as a personal interview.
However, they will also ask you more questions related to your familiarity with working conditions at a remote location, demographics of your city or town, market potential where applicable and your knowledge about the role, among others.
A lot of such Zoom interview questions are somewhat similar to phone interview questions and they can be easily found online, along with ways to respond. You can use these questions during the mock interview that you’ll conduct with a relative or friend.
15. Get Good Rest
Take a lot of rest on the day of the interview. This includes having a good sleep at night for a few days prior to the interview and on the day before. That’s because lack of sleep can cause eye-bags.
During a personal interview, these wouldn’t get highlighted or draw much attention. However, in a Zoom interview, your eye-bags would be seen clearly as part of your facial features.
They would indicate you’re tired, restless or even drunk heavily the night before the interview.
You can also try homemade remedies for eye-bag removal such as orange peels, cucumber slices, crushed lettuce or creams that’re readily available online and offline from various stores.
Women jobseekers should take extra care to ensure that they don’t have eye-bags. That’s because women tend to develop eye-bags more quickly than men due to lack of rest and stress of housekeeping and personal tasks.
16. Avoid Hangovers
One thing to avoid is hangovers from any alcoholic drinks you may have had the night before the interview. I’m emphasizing on this point because a lot of jobseekers tend to consume alcohol a day before the interview due to nervousness and false fears of failing.
When you have a hangover, it would be clearly visible to an interviewer because it will reflect from your eyes and the flush on your face, especially cheeks.
At the same time, if you feel the compulsion to consume alcohol due to nervousness, I suggest you stick to one or two small drinks only and have a hearty meal. That can help prevent hangovers.
Yet, I strongly suggest that you shun drinking totally during the night before the interview and more so, on the day of the interview. Even a beer could cause your face and eyes to appear drunk.
17. Get Zoom Interview Link in Advance
Generally, most recruiters will send you a link to connect to a Zoom interview well in advance. They will either send you the link or a username and password to access the interview at the said time and date.
Employers send this link, username and password through email in most cases. In rare cases, they might send it on WhatsApp.
Make sure to check your Junk Mail on your email account if you don’t get the link. You can also call up the employer or the HR manager to enquire about when they would be sending you the link.
Some employers would send it just before the interview. In such cases, they will call and alert you about the email link.
Therefore, provide a valid and working email ID on your application. If you don’t get the link in your email for any reason, it’s fine to call up the recruiter. It gives an impression that you’re serious about working with them and prepared for the interview.
18. lean Your Screen & Camera
It’s best practice to clean your screen and camera just before the interview. Use a small quantity of glass cleaner and a soft cloth, such as the ones used for reading glasses, spectacles and goggles.
If you’ll be using a laptop, chances are that your camera would be just above the display. Clean the lens carefully. Your screen and camera are two vital resources to crack the interview successfully. Hence, cleaning them is important.
Also, clean the screen and camera of your smartphone. I will discuss the use of smartphones for your Zoom interview later in this article.
You can follow the same process of using a small quantity of glass cleaner and soft cloth to clean the screen and camera of your smartphone.
Take a few sample pictures or videos with your camera on smartphone to check if there’re any specks or dust.
Do the same with your computer too. If you’re using an external camera for PC, clean it thoroughly and ensure it is working properly. This can be done during the mock interview as I mention earlier.
19. Computer or Smartphone?
This is a question that several jobseekers ask me: whether they should use a computer or a smartphone for a Zoom interview. My answer is simple: use your computer.
That’s because screen sharing is best done from a computer only. You cannot share a screen easily from a smartphone. Also, to use a smartphone, you will require a tripod stand.
And you’ll have to place the smartphone at a proper angle. All these hassles can be avoided simply by using a computer.
At the same time, keep your smartphone with high speed Internet from the mobile services provider ready for use during the interview.
Inform your interviewers that you’ve kept your mobile phone as a standby, just in case something goes wrong with your computer or its Internet connection.
That way, you can login to the interview from two different devices. However, taking permission before to use two devices is the best policy.
Keep the mic and audio of your smartphone on mute mode during the interview. This will ensure there’re no echoes of your voice from two devices that can irritate interviewers or blur questions and answers.
During the Zoom Interview
The above steps would help you prepare for the Zoom interview to get your dream job. These steps are simple and hence, easy to follow. However, they’re very important if you’re serious about succeeding at the interview.
1. Groom Yourself Well
The first and foremost rule to appear for a Zoom interview is grooming yourself well. That means having a proper hairstyle, shaving if you’re male, clipping nails and appearing neat and tidy,
It’s best to groom yourself just before the interview, though women can get a nice hairdo a day before. Men can also have a haircut one day before the interview and shave on the day of the interview.
Generally, all interviewers will observe your personal grooming during the Zoom interview. Hence, I recommend that women use light makeup that would highlight their facial features and get manicure alongside polishing nails.
2. Use Proper Attire
Use professional attire, meaning formal office wear while appearing for the Zoom interview. I would recommend men to use a light colored shirt with matching tie. Women can use a formal blouse and skirts.
Whether or not to use a blazer, suit or jacket is your choice and would depend upon two main factors: the season and your comfort.
If you’ll feel uncomfortable with a blazer, suit or jacket during the interview due to warmth in the room, don’t wear one. It would also look ridiculous to wear a heavy blazer or jacket or suit during summers.
Here’s a caution for men: don’t forget to put on your trousers. Many work-from-home men wear only a shirt and tie upon shorts, denims or pyjama. This can cause you a lot of embarrassment if you’ve to stand up for any reason during the Zoom interview.
Most of you will have read about the news anchor who stood up during a telecast. Though he was wearing a formal shirt and tie, he was dressed in shorts instead of proper pants.
3. Correct Body Language
Use correct body language to drive home the point to an interviewer that you’re serious about that dream job and role.
Normally, recruiters gauge body language during a one-on-one personal interview. During a Zoom interview, they’ll observe it over the screen.
Therefore, ensure that you use proper body language. Do not smile at every question because it looks sheepish. Instead, appear professional looking. Also, avoid fidgeting during the Zoom interview since it’s a clear indication of nervousness.
4. Always Look at the Camera
Regardless whether you’re using an external camera or one on your computer, always look directly at the camera.
To do so, you’ll have to place the camera or laptop screen at a proper angle to display the upper half of your body and especially face.
Make sure that lighting doesn’t add too much luster on your face because such shine will blur your facial features and expressions. Therefore, follow tips on lighting that I’ve spoken about earlier in this article.
5. Keep Documents Open for Screen Share
Open and minimize three or four important documents, especially your CV or Resume for screen sharing.
That way, you can share the document almost instantly when an interviewer ask for them. At the same time, do not open too many documents because you could get confused while screen sharing.
Generally, only keep your CV or Resume open because that’s what interviewers will ask you first. Share it with them and scroll downwards only when the recruiter asks for it.
Be ready to answer questions from your CV or Resume while screen sharing. At the same time, do not switch off your Zoom video during screen share because you will have to appear on screen the moment you stop screen sharing.
6. Mute Yourself When Necessary
Always mute yourself on Zoom when necessary. That means, when the interviewer or someone from the panel of interviewers is speaking.
This will enable you to listen to the questions and comprehend them fully before responding.
America’s renowned motivational speaker, Dr. Stephen R. Covey says: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand.
They listen with the intent to reply.” Therefore, comprehend the question an interviewer is asking over Zoom and provide a proper response.
To do so, you will need to mute your mic for a minute or two. That’s because noises from your side could blur the question or there could be an echo of the interviewer’s voice. You can unmute yourself at the time of responding to the question.
7. Keep a Flask of Drinking Water at Hand
Often, interviewers provide a glass of drinking water during a personal or one-on-one interview. That’s because they wish to make the jobseeker feel at ease during the interview.
On a Zoom interview, that’s not possible for obvious reasons. Therefore, there’s no harm in keeping a flask or bottle of drinking water at hand during the Zoom interview for your dream job.
You can sip water during pauses in the interview. It is quite normal and interviewers also understand that you require water to feel comfortable.
Additionally, sipping small quantities of water twice or thrice during a Zoom interview is acceptable by any employer. It would relieve any stress from the interview you might experience.
8. Be Aware of Silent Viewers
While responding to questions asked by one or more interviewers, you need to be aware that there could be others listening to your interview as well. They may not feature on the Participants list on your Zoom, but would be listening to the proceedings as they occur silently in the background.
And such a person or persons could be anyone from the company owner or CEO or even some director.
Therefore, select your responses carefully on a Zoom interview. Remember that you’re there for your dream job. The very fact that you’re at the interview is a clear indicator that the employer is interested in hiring you.
Or else, they wouldn’t be wasting time and other resources on your Zoom interview. Often you have to impress the person that you won’t see on screen during the Zoom interview to get that job.
9. Ask Your Questions During Zoom Interview
A lot of candidates falsely believe they cannot ask questions to the interviewer. In fact, interviewers and unseen spectators also want you to ask questions during the Zoom interview, similar to a personal one.
Therefore, keep a set of questions ready and use them when you get a chance.
It is also fine to ask about your salary. Generally, the recruiter will have arrived at some figure to offer you. If they make an offer, it’s your choice whether or not to accept. However, you can also bargain for your salary during a Zoom interview.
Here’s something important. Bureau of Labor Statistics data clearly indicates that wages for any specific role depends upon the location in USA.
Therefore, you can safely assume that your interviewer would have studied these and would offer matching salary and perks. You can also ask questions about your role and other details during the interview.
10. Allow Interviewer to End the Zoom Interview
As a rule, never terminate a Zoom interview yourself. Always wait for the interviewer to end the session.
Sometimes, it could take a minute for the interviewer to end the session. Therefore, you must have enough patience to wait. Ending the interview session yourself creates a very bad image about yourself.
Also, use business etiquette during the interview. This indicates you’re a professional seeking a dream job with that organization.
And one of these business etiquette is to thank the interviewer at the end of the interview and wait for them to terminate the session. Never make this mistake of getting up and leaving the camera before the interviewer closes the interview session from their side.
Zoom Interviews with Online Test
Now I will discuss something about a different kind of Zoom interview. And that is Zoom interviews with online tests. Very often, employers conduct psychometric or other tests related to your role online, while the Zoom interview is ongoing.
In such cases, the interviewer will assign you some task. And you have to complete it within the given deadline, which could be anything ranging from a few minutes to an hour.
This is done to ensure that you’re actually proficient at the work and fulfill the responsibilities at that position.
Zoom Interviews with Multiple Interviewers
Sometimes, there will be more than one interviewer that would appear on your Zoom panel. This isn’t something to worry about. Often, companies involve their HR and admin managers as well as heads of department where you would work for the interview.
In such cases, only one person at a time will ask a question. The others will mute themselves. Before you respond, find the name of the person who’s asking the question. This can be done by checking the ‘Participants’ list on your Zoom panel.
Hopefully, this comprehensive guide on how to crack a Zoom interview would help you get the job you’ve always dreamed for. Before concluding, I will repeat that a Zoom interview is somewhat similar to a personal one. Only, you can expect some more questions.
And as I mention earlier, there could be silent watchers you would need to impress. I would suggest you to start preparing for Zoom interviews right away because that’s going to be something very common during the new normal we’re witnessing in the post Covid-19 era.