Interview on Zoom: Tips to Succeed and Mistakes to Avoid

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 10 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Zoom interviews are popular in organisations because of the platform's accessibility and the practical benefits of remote interviews. While Zoom interviews have many benefits compared to in-person interviews, they also come with unique challenges. As a job seeker, becoming familiar with the platform can help you prepare for possible Zoom interviews. In this article, we discuss what a Zoom interview is, provide you with tips on how to prepare and succeed and discuss mistakes to avoid.

What is an interview on Zoom?

Because of the popularity of video-conferencing software, there's a good chance that your job applications may involve an interview on Zoom. Zoom is an online video-conferencing application that recruiters use to screen and interview aspiring employees of organisations. Zoom interviews are common for remote companies, but any employer might use one for convenience.

Interviews on Zoom allow both recruiters and job seekers to meet virtually without the stress of travelling to a physical location. For employers with the responsibility of recruiting and screening multiple candidates, a Zoom interview saves them the stress of commuting. With this, they can recruit and screen several candidates at once.

Related: Guide: How to Get a Job Fast

How to prepare for a Zoom interview

A major qualifier for job applicants is the ability to follow instructions. For a Zoom interview, follow the instructions embedded in the Zoom invite. Here's a step-by-step process to help you adequately prepare for a Zoom interview:

1. Carefully read the instructions in the email

Read through the email thoroughly. Copy, paste and save the link somewhere safe in case you accidentally delete the important email. Pay attention to the time and date in the email. You could also tell a friend that you trust to take note of the details of the invite and remind you if necessary.

2. Install Zoom on your computer

A laptop or tablet might have a better quality video than a mobile phone. This is why you might consider installing Zoom on your laptop to prepare you for the interview. Another reason to install Zoom on your computer is that your mobile phone could get distracting during the interview. Ensure that you have your attention fixated on the interview and your recruiter. After installing Zoom, familiarise yourself with Zoom's features on your computer.

3. Run a test call

After installing Zoom on your computer, it may be necessary for you to reset or change some functionalities. To help with this, you could call a friend on Zoom and test all the major functions. For instance, ensure the audio is working properly by making sure your friend can hear you clearly and you can hear them just as clearly. Ensure you can easily turn your video on and off and have your friend tell you how the video appears on the other end. Doing these things also improves your familiarity with the application.

4. Set a reminder for the interview

Zoom interviews are important, so make sure you don't forget the time and date. Input the date in your calendar and set an alarm that reminds you of the interview. Set the reminder a few hours before the interview. This gives you ample time to prepare if you haven't.

5. Click on the link and settle in on time

To settle in and be comfortable before the meeting starts, click on the meeting's link about 10 minutes before the stated time. This shows that you're punctual and diligent and can help you make a good first impression on your recruiters. Also, if an issue occurs with either your application or your computer, you can quickly notice and address these unexpected issues before the start of the meeting.

Related: 14 Tips to Succeed and Mistakes to Avoid In a Zoom Interview

Tips for succeeding in a Zoom interview

Apart from preparing for the interview, you want to ensure that you excel at the interview. Here are some tips to help you succeed in virtual interviews:

Dress in corporate attire

Many Zoom interviews require you to turn your camera on. Having this knowledge allows you to prepare and dress properly for the interview. Dressing appropriately prevents you from embarrassment if your interviewer asks you to turn on your video. It's preferable to dress in corporate attire. This might keep you in a professional state of mind for the interview.

Look directly into the camera while speaking

Your recruiters might expect you to be confident and assertive. Looking away from the camera might make them feel like you're either shy, unsure of yourself or distracted. By looking into your camera, the interviewers might feel like you're maintaining eye contact with them during the interview, which can also give you a sense of confidence in talking.

Consider your body language

Pay special attention to your body language. If your video is on during the interview, avoid sending the wrong message to your recruiter. Practise your interview and presentation skills before the interview and ensure that your general disposition exudes confidence and courtesy. Let your facial expression remain neutral during the interview. You can smile if some situations warrant it.

Consider choosing a quiet place

During the interview, avoid a noisy environment. A quieter space allows for an easier flow of communication. Choose a place where you can hear the recruiter, and they can hear you. You can do this by closing nearby doors and windows.

Use a professional background

Ensure that your space is tidy before the interview and eliminate distracting elements in your space before the interview. Remember, the goal is to appear professional and efficient. You can make things more interesting by placing your work tools in the background. If you're a writer, for instance, you can strategically place your journals and pens behind you, so your recruiters see them. Choose an environment that has great lighting. This can enhance your video quality. Ensure there's good ventilation in the environment as this allows for convenience during the interview.

Do the necessary updates before your interview

Check your system and application for pending updates and update them before the interview. This preparation saves you from unforeseen obstacles and prevents your computer from going into an impromptu update during the interview. This also prevents your Zoom application from unexpectedly closing during the interview.

Inform your household before your interview

Even if you plan to stay in a private space during the interview, it's advisable that you inform your family or housemates of your interview and the time duration. This prevents them from entering your room at unexpected times during the interview and disrupting the process. If you have a pet like a dog that barks loudly, you may want to keep it far away from your interview space.

Engage your recruiter

When your interviewer asks you questions and grants you the opportunity to ask those questions, be sure to use this opportunity. Interviews are two-sided conversations. Your recruiters might use this to observe the depth of your thinking process. Some of them wish to know if you understand what their company is about and if you're truly ready to work with them. Asking questions demonstrates your confidence and readiness to address whatever task they might give to you.

Related: How to Succeed in a Virtual Interview

Mistakes to avoid during a Zoom interview

Here are a few common mistakes candidates may make during Zoom interviews with advice on how to overcome them:

Poor network coverage

Forgetting to check the strength of their Internet connection before the interview can disturb both the interviewers and interviewees during the interview. To ensure a smooth interview session, you could check the strength of your Internet connection by doing a trial Zoom meeting with your friend or colleague. Be sure to have a supplementary source of Internet connection in case you suddenly have a poor network before or during your interview session.

If your home network coverage is inconsistent, you may consider finding strong Internet in a public location, such as a library. Try to find a room or area that is private if possible. For example, some libraries have conference rooms that you may be able to reserve.

Not getting familiar with Zoom's features before the interview

Being unfamiliar with Zoom's features before the interview could suggest to your hirer that you didn't prepare adequately for the interview. This could also result in interviewers concluding that you lack important technical expertise. Many companies seek professionals with strong computer literacy, and the Zoom interview is an opportunity to show you have this trait. Practise using zoom ahead of time to help you develop your technical skills.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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