10 Terrific Zoom Interview Tips for 2021

Sarah O’Mahoney

Marketing Specialist & Freelance Blogger

Zoom interviews have become “the norm” in quite a short period of time as a result of the pandemic. Meeting someone face to face, and shaking hands may seem like something from the past as we get used to a new reality. The fact is, a Zoom interview can be daunting for candidates when they are so used to traditional in-person methods of interviewing. 

If you have recently been called for an interview for a job, the chances are that it will be held over Zoom or on another video conferencing platform. This isn’t a reason for panic. Zoom interviews just require some preparation and of course, we’ve got you covered! 

This blog is going to explore the top 10 Zoom interview tips in 2021. We will help you to feel as prepared as possible for your interview and help you get on the right track to bagging your dream job!

Let’s dive in… 

1. Dress Professionally

No matter how many funny memes you have seen online about people working from home in their pjs, this is definitely a no-go for an interview (and probably for working too!). Just because this is a zoom interview, this is not an invitation to wear your casual clothes just because you are home. Interview candidates must still dress professionally, the same as you would for a traditional, in-person interview. 

You have probably heard by now that first impressions are super important in an interview. According to BusinessInsider, it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. The interviewing panel or hiring manager has an impression of you before you even say a word. The same goes for Zoom interviews. It’s important to be dressed well and looking professional from the second you turn on your webcam. 

2. Consider Your Background

Zoom interviews will require you to have your webcam turned on, and this means you need to consider your surroundings. It may not give off a great impression to your possible future employers if you have a messy background. 

For your Zoom interview, it may be a good idea to position yourself with just a blank wall behind you with no distractions. The focus of the interview should be on you, your skills and experience and how you qualify for the job. This is not time to display your favorite musician’s poster. If you feel like you don’t have any neutral background you can position yourself in front of, don’t fret. Zoom has settings where you can blur out your background or even choose your own. 

For your Zoom interview, you should also make sure you are in a quiet place. Try and avoid having other people in your home chatting in the background so you can give your Zoom interview your full attention. 

3. Practice Logging Into Zoom

If you aren’t familiar with Zoom, you should definitely practice logging in and becoming familiar with the platform. Zoom is similar to most video conferencing tools, so it probably won’t take long to get the hang of. However, being over prepared for an interview is always a good idea. 

Zoom Interview Functioning

Get familiar with some of the basic features and buttons that you will most likely need to use during the interview, like the mute buttonchat function, and share screen feature. 

Knowing your way around Zoom will help a lot on the day of your interview. You will be less stressed when you feel more comfortable navigating your way around the platform.

4. Don’t Be Late

Showing up to an interview late is never a good look, and the same is true for a Zoom interview. When you receive the meeting invite for your interview, you will see what time it is due to begin. Make sure to set yourself some reminders or add the invite to your calendar so there is no chance that you miss it. 

Normally at a traditional in-person interview, a candidate may come to the interview approximately 15 minutes early and sit in the waiting room. This process is a little different for a Zoom interview. Although there is a virtual waiting room on Zoom, there is definitely no need to be in there for 15 minutes. 

Logging onto your scheduled meeting about 5 minutes ahead of time is appropriately early. 

5. Check Your Internet Connection

Having a good, stable internet connection is an absolute must for a Zoom interview. The last thing you want is to be breaking up and freezing on the hiring manager’s side. If this happens, it may increase your stress levels and make you lose focus. 

To ensure you’ll have a good connection, do a quick Zoom call with a friend a few days before and ensure your internet connection is strong enough for the interview. 

6. Practice Body Language

If you are used to working on a laptop, or even using Zoom for meetings at your current job, the chances are you may slouch or rest your head on your hands from time to time (it’s okay, we all do it sometimes!) If you do find this is a habit of yours, this is something you need to work on before your Zoom interview. It is important that you sit up straight during your interview and hold good eye contact, looking as professional as possible. 

Candidates may be confused on where to look during the Zoom interview, but always remember to look into the webcam. 

7. Prepare Answers As Normal

When your interview is being held on Zoom, this doesn’t mean it is going to be any easier than a traditional, in-person interview. You should still prepare all of the answers to typical interview questions as if you were meeting the interview panel in person. Knowing how to talk about your experience, skills and qualifications are a safe bet for most interviews. It also may be worthwhile preparing answers for questions related to why you want to work for the company and why you are good for the role. 

8. Do Updates Prior to Your Zoom Interview

Technology often has a way of acting up on us just when we need it to work the most. Some PCs and laptops may shut down to do system updates every so often, which is great… just not during an interview. Make sure you have done all system updates before your Zoom interview and turn off any scheduled updates that may be set to start during your interview. 

9. Ask Questions

Like a regular, face-to-face interview, the candidate is always encouraged to ask questions. Asking your interviewers questions is a great way to find out more about the role you are applying for and the company as a whole. Asking questions during an interview also shows that you are engaged, interested and enthusiastic about the role, which is great for the interviewers to see. 

Some typical questions to ask in a Zoom interview may include:

  • What is your favorite thing about working for the company?
  • What does a typical day look like in this role?
  • How has this role changed over recent times?

10. Relax

If you have put in the work, and have prepared as much as possible, the hard part is over! Zoom interviews can be stressful. It might be useful to make a checklist prior to your interview to double check that all is in order. Try and remain as calm as possible during your Zoom interview to come off as collective and confident. 

Hopefully by now, you feel like you know where to start when preparing for your Zoom interview. Although the thought of an interview can be daunting, if you are as prepared as possible, you will be able to tackle anything that comes your way on the day. If you ensure you have covered everything on our top 10 list, you will be on the right track to bagging that dream job!

Happy Job Searching!

Additional Resources:

Video Interviews: 9 Brilliant Tips to Excel

Networking With Social Anxiety Disorder: 4 Helpful Tips

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