Top tips on how to shine in a Zoom interview
Time to give yourself a big pat on the back. You’ve captured the interest of the hiring manager for your dream role and they’ve invited you to a video interview. Congratulations!
Whatever the shape of the e-interview room – Zoom, MS Teams, Skype, or Google Meet – you’ll need to get acquainted with the particularities of virtual interviews to make it through to the next round. Happily, a little preparation is all that’s required to set yourself up for success. And we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need below.
Sitting comfortably? Then, let’s begin…
- Understand the two different types of video interviews – one-way and two-way
A one-way interview is when candidates record their timed responses to pre-set questions. This type of interview is popular for first-round interviews for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a quick, resource-light way of confirming that you meet the basic requirements of the job. Secondly, it enables the hiring manager and other stakeholders to watch and re-watch your answers at a time and place of their convenience.
A two-way interview is where both the candidate and the interviewer are present in a real-time, virtual environment. So, as per an in-person interview, you won’t know the questions until the meeting.
- Appreciate that video interviews are different and prepare accordingly
Video interviews are convenient and cost-effective. However, while you might not run the risk of arriving late, there are other potential pitfalls that you need to prepare for…
- a) Do your research and practice common interview questions on the platform. Please see our blog article – Ten steps to acing your job interview – for our expert tips. If you’re not already used to the interviewer’s choice of platform, ask your family or friends to host a mock video interview on it. Record it and review it afterward to identify any problem areas regarding your answers and/or the platform.
- b) Find a quiet, well-lit environment with no controversial art or messy clutter in the background. Assuming that you’re sitting the interview at home, ensure the rest of the household knows the time of the meeting so that they don’t put their favourite Nirvana song on at full blast halfway through. You may also want to consider a noise-canceling headset with a microphone.
- c) Put tempting distractions away. Put your mobile phone on silent and close down all other tabs on your computer 10 minutes before the interview starts. If your eyes start flicking across to other devices or scrolling through your messages, the interviewer will spot it immediately. Big no-no.
In the same vein, if you find seeing yourself on video off-putting, you can minimise your on-screen image and enlarge that of the interviewer.
- d) Test your internet speed well in advance and then again 10 minutes before kick-off. Have a contingency plan. This could mean disabling the Wi-Fi on your other devices to free up bandwidth, using your phone as a hotspot, or connecting to your internet router using an ethernet cable. If, despite all your efforts, your connection is interrupted, don’t panic. Message your interviewer and get back online as fast as you can.
- e) Dress the part and that includes below the waist! Hiring managers expect to see a smart professional on-screen. Don’t let an unexpected, urgent toddler cry or call at the door ruin the impression. Nothing can compensate for the sight of stripey pajama bottoms and fluffy slippers leaping into action mid-interview.
To sum up, video interviews have their challenges but – with a little preparation and techie know-how – you can overcome them. For more expert advice on how to impress your interviewer – at video, telephone, and face-to-face interviews – check out our articles below. Better still, get in touch with our team of expert recruiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7092 3911 today!