After the COVID-19 outburst, Zoom interviews have become the new normal for connecting employers with interviewees. As a result, 60% of HR managers use or have used video interviews in their hiring process. From devs to marketers, no matter your career path, having basic knowledge of Zoom and its features could work to your advantage to draw employers’ eyes on you.
You have to understand that this is an entirely different world. There’s a screen between you and your future employer, so there are no handshakes, direct eye contact, full-body image, or gestures, not to mention sound and image quality. So, you need to level up your game!
Luckily, we’re here to help you with a step-by-step guide packed with tips on how to ace your next Zoom interview. To take a step further, at MentorCruise, we coach you to succeed in your interviews and land amazing job opportunities.
9 + 1 Tips to Nail Your Next Zoom Interview
1) Dress the part
As you would do in a face-to-face meeting, wearing the right clothes can make or break an interview. Whether you’re going for an Amazon interview or meeting a freelancing prospect, you need to look your best. Not only does your future employer expect to see you groomed and well-dressed, but also your psychology shifts when you’re looking the part. So don’t underestimate the power of some pants and shoes; they’ll give you confidence and program your brain to think as if you’re in an actual congress room.
2) Avoid distractions at all costs
Probably one of our top Zoom interview tips. Distractions could kill an interview before it begins. In contrast with physical interviews where distractions are shared with the interviewer, in Zoom, the person on the other side of the screen doesn’t know when something unexpected distracts you from the conversation.
You want to avoid kids crawling on your lap, animals making sounds, or even neighbors making loud noises. Phone notifications or emails popping on your screen could equally worsen the situation. So, you want to seclude yourself in a quiet environment, preferably without phones or people around. Make sure to let everyone know beforehand the time you’ll be having the interview, and, as a general rule of thumb, do your best to eliminate distractions.
3) Mind the lighting
Usually, the lighting in a room is fluorescent or incandescent, which can be harsh and less flattering. We highly suggest using a ring light directly on your face to create depth of field and sharpness. Long are the days when only makeup vloggers used ring lights. Nowadays, you can find pretty cheap ring lights in the market that do the work just as well. It’s a small investment that could win you some impressions.
If, however, a ring light is not an option, try to schedule your interview during the morning or noon, when the sun is at the perfect height. Then, simply sit in front of a window and let the sunlight bathe you. Natural light is always a go-to option, and it’s free!
4) Change your Zoom background
Part of avoiding distractions in a virtual interview is using the appropriate Zoom backgrounds that convey a professional message. Unfortunately, not everyone has an established home office with the luxury to adjust their surroundings. That’s where Zoom comes into the frame allowing users to change their backgrounds. Here’s a breakdown of how to change your Zoom background:
Open your Zoom meeting and click on the drop-down menu next to the Stop Video button. Next, click on the Choose Virtual Background, and you’ll be prompted to a pop-up window.
You can either choose one of the existing neutral Zoom backgrounds or hit the + button and add your own from your library. You also have the option to source your video interview background from Unsplash, a copyright-free source of images with a wide variety to choose from. Save the images below and add them as your professional Zoom background.