How to Nail a Zoom Interview (Tips & Tricks) [2020]

zoom interview

Zoom interviews might be here to stay. Or at least any video interview or remote interview session. Getting familiar with the tips that are required to nail a remote interview is critical in ensuring that you increased your odds of getting an employment offer by the hiring manager.

Here are the ways to ensure that you have a fantastic Zoom interview in the future.

Zoom Interview Guidelines

1. Be sure you have Zoom Video Communications installed on your computer in advance of your meeting.
2. Create a test meeting and be sure you know how to enter a meeting.
3. Turn on your video camera and find the perfect place to speak to the recruiter or manager regarding the job opportunity.
4. Be sure your internet connection is active and ready to take on the bandwidth of a video call.
5. Treat your zoom interview like a regular interview.
6. Educate yourself on who you’ll be speaking with. What is their role? What are they working on? Who do they work with?
7. Educate yourself on the company leadership, values, ethics, and more.
8. Be prepared to ask the interviewer questions related to the role, business, and job opportunity.
9. Prepare for all behavioral and job-specific interview questions that the hiring manager might ask in the zoom Zoom interview.
10. Be sure to follow up with your interviewer by email after the video interview is completed to show your interest in the position.

Before we dig into these, let’s cover what Zoom Video Communications is.

Zoom Video Communications

Zoom is a virtual video conferencing software or video conferencing tool. It allows two people to speak to one another virtually. You’ll need to install the software on your Mac or PC and ensure that your computer camera is properly connected to the software in order to perform the online interview.

Zoom may ask you to sign up for a Zoom account, which means it is vital that you spend time in advance of your Zoom meeting to get prepared for your upcoming meeting.

Zoom Video Interview Tips

Here are explanations of our zoom interview guidelines that will help you better prepare for your interview.

Video Preparation

Having a Zoom account and knowing how to join your meeting in advance of the job interview will help you immensely. Especially if this is your first time performing an interview by video like this. Zoom or Skype are two popular tools to try and replicate a face to face interview using virtual web conferencing tools. Be sure that you are ready to join the call when the time hits.

Camera Preparation

Turning on your camera and ensuring that your background is clear of all personal matters is important. You don’t want an empty bottle behind you making you look like a messy or disorganized person. Try to create a beautiful setting, much like a news anchor might, for your video call. Be sure you aren’t sitting on your recliner chair and the camera angle isn’t flattering. Find a well lit, quiet room.

Clothing Preparation

Treat your video call like any other interview. Dress for success. Wear business casual clothing like a blazer and sweater or maybe a shirt with a tie. You can keep your attire slightly less professional during a video call as the other person will most likely be in business casual wear themselves. And this will make them feel more comfortable.

Interviewer Preparation

Do your homework on who you’ll be speaking with. Is this a recruiter or someone part of the of the team? In either event, spend the time to know who that person is, what they care about, and how you can better open the conversation. You can do this by finding them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other professional channels like their personal website if they have one.

Interview Question Preparation

Be sure to prepare like any other interview. Anticipate upcoming interview questions. Both about the company and the job or role. Specially, you want to practice your delivery. During a video call, you’ll want to keep the answers short so you keep the interviewer's attention span.

Body Language

Body language by video call is key. Eye contact and comfortable seating positions will help you. During a video call, you’ll need to use body language with “more volume” than you might in person. This means you need to smile more, stare into the camera (which is making eye contact) and make the other person feel like you are face to face as much as possible.

Have Questions to Ask

Just like any interview, prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. This could be questions related to the role or questions related to the company. Something like, “What would you advise a new employee to do during the first 90 days in this role?” That would be a great question to ask. Sit down and write at least five questions that you feel are important for the interviewer to cover. If they answer them during the interview, be sure to cross them off your list and only ask the ones remaining.

Have Pen and Paper

Just like any interview, have pen and paper ready to take notes. This is a common mistake that video interviewers make, thinking that because they are having a virtual meeting, they don’t need to write notes. Note-taking will help you to ingest the conversation and ensure you ask the right questions at the end.

Write a Thank You Email

When you’re finished with the interview, in the next 24 hours after the interview is completed, write a thank you note that shows the interviewer you appreciated them taking the time. Include a mention of any questions you might have regarding the role or interview process. In general, use this note as an opportunity to show your interest in the position and show you have passion toward being hired.

Zoom Interview FAQ

Common questions asked by job seekers.

Why are job interviews conducted by video call?

Not all are. But recently, due to COVID-19 and many other organizations being remote work-oriented, more job interviews have to be conducted using video communications.

What if they ask about recording the video call?

If the interviewer asks about recording the video interview, you may have to answer honestly. Which will be your comfort in allowing them to record the call. This will allow the interviewer to review the video later to take notes on the next steps with your interview.

Is there a Zoom app for my iPhone?

Even if there is, you should not use it. You should use your desktop computer to perform your video job interview. Mobile devices tend to have a shaky videos along with odd angles for the camera. It will be the most professional and shows that you’re comfortable with video communications, which may be something the company performs often.

Should I ask questions about the hiring process?

If you are speaking with a recruiter, you absolutely should ask questions about the hiring process. Treat your video interview as though it is a regular interview.

Will the interview questions be different because it is a video call?

No, your interview questions will most likely be the exact same as if you were in a onsite interview or phone interview.

What is the most common mistake made on behalf of those that are new to video conferencing?

Joining the call too early. For Zoom in particular, sometimes the room you are using for one interviewer might be the same as the other. Be sure you are well prepared for your interview but don’t join the call too early. You could interrupt the other virtual interview that is taking place.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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