18 Tips for Succeeding During Your Zoom Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 10, 2022 | Published August 13, 2020

Updated August 10, 2022

Published August 13, 2020

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.

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More employers may choose to conduct an interview using video conferencing software. This is because it tends to be more convenient for remote positions or initial screening interviews. Since this type of interview is a bit different than a traditional in-person interview, it's important that you consider a few factors of this format.

In this article, we explain what Zoom interview is and share 18 tips on how to prepare for your interview Zoom call.

Related: 21 Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

What is a Zoom interview?

A Zoom interview is when you interview for a position using Zoom, a type of video software that many companies use to connect with others remotely. It has various tools such as screen sharing, text chat, video recording and muting. Once you learn how to properly use these tools, you can use them to your advantage during your next video interview.

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips for a Successful Job Interview

Tips for succeeding during zoom interviews

These Zoom interview tips can help you master this video software and show employers you're a qualified candidate:

  1. Use the mute button.

  2. Look into the camera while speaking.

  3. Choose a professional background.

  4. Find a brightly lit room.

  5. Pick a quiet space.

  6. Silence your phone.

  7. Maintain your focus.

  8. Turn off notifications.

  9. Use a laptop or computer.

  10. Charge your laptop.

  11. Update your computer.

  12. Find a good internet connection.

  13. Communicate with your household.

  14. Wear professional attire.

  15. Keep your screen clear.

  16. Practice using Zoom.

  17. Use appropriate body language.

  18. Ask your interviewer questions.

1. Use the mute button

Zoom has a feature where you can mute your audio. This is a great feature to use while your interviewer is speaking for long periods. While using the mute button, they cannot hear anything on your end. This is useful when there are loud sounds in your household such as dogs barking or children playing. Keeping yourself on mute as they speak can help your interviewer feel more focused on what they want to tell you.

Related: 10 Tips and Strategies for Speaking on Zoom

2. Look into the camera while speaking

During an in-person interview, maintaining eye contact with your interviewer is a sign of confidence and respect. Video chat makes this a bit different, because if you were to look them in the eye on your screen, it may not look like that on their end. Instead, look into the camera as you're speaking. This creates the illusion that you're looking at them rather than yourself or the screen.

3. Choose a professional background

When setting up your computer, choose an area that is tidy and free of clutter. Make sure your background is sparse rather than busy and only has professional-looking items in the background. Setting up in front of a blank wall or a few tasteful decorations shows that you're organized and pay attention to detail.

4. Find a brightly lit room

Your interviewer needs to be able to see your body language and facial expressions during your Zoom interview. Choose a room with good lighting, so they can easily see you. Setting your interview space facing a window that lets in a lot of natural lighting is a great way to make yourself more visible. Setting up with a window behind you can cast shadows on your face and make you appear to look like a silhouette.

5. Pick a quiet space

Choose an area that is quiet and free of distractions. This way your interviewer can direct their full attention to what you have to say. A room where you can shut the door is an ideal space to interview. Limit other noises by closing windows and turning off your music or the television.

Related: 11 Mistakes in Zoom Interviews (And How To Avoid Them)

6. Silence your phone

Before your Zoom interview, silence your phone and put it away. This way, you can focus on the interview rather than a text message or phone call. It may be a good idea to put your phone away for at least 10 minutes before your interview, so you can clear your mind and focus on preparing before you start.

7. Maintain your focus

While your interviewer is speaking, keep your focus on the screen. Like you would in an in-person interview, show them that you're paying attention to what they have to say through active listening. You can do this by affirming what they say, nodding as they speak and asking questions based on what they say.

Related: 5 Tips To Stay Focused Working From Home

8. Turn off notifications

Along with turning off your phone, you should also turn off any notifications on your computer. Close out of any social media websites or anything else that could become a distraction. Set the Zoom meeting to full screen so that your interviewer is the only thing you can see.

9. Use a laptop or computer

Although Zoom has a mobile app, it's better to use it on a desktop computer or laptop. Having your computer on a table creates a more stationary view of yourself while holding your phone in your hand could cause the camera to shake. Your computer camera also gives the interviewer a better view of yourself and tends to come in clearer.

Read more: Tips From a Recruiter: Mastering the Virtual Interview

10. Charge your laptop

If your interview space doesn't have an outlet, make sure to fully charge your laptop before your interview. Ideally, you should choose a spot where you can leave your laptop plugged in during the entirety of your interview. This way, your device can last throughout a lengthy conversation.

11. Update your computer

Get the newest edition of Zoom prior to your meeting. Likewise, also do a full system update on your computer well in advance. If you were to accidentally click on the install update notification during your interview, this could cause your computer to restart mid-interview. By doing these updates a few hours before the interview, you can ensure your device is at its best.

Related: Guide: How to Succeed at a Virtual Hiring Event

12. Find a good internet connection

Prior to your Zoom interview, make sure you have a strong internet connection. Test out your connection and where you plan to sit during your interview. If you can stream video or Zoom with other people, then you're likely to have a solid connection during your interview.

13. Communicate with your household

If you live with other people, let them know when and where you're interviewing. Right before your interview starts, remind them to give you space and keep a quiet volume until you're done. It's best that those you live with remain in a separate room than you, so you can stay focused.

14. Wear professional attire

Dress exactly how you would during an in-person interview. This means you should wear clothes that are appropriate for your industry and make you feel confident. If you're not sure of the company's dress code, you can view photos on their website to see what people are wearing.

Related: What To Wear for a Zoom Interview and How To Prepare

15. Keep your screen clear

In the event that you need to use the screen share option, it's a good idea to close out of everything on your desktop before your interview. This can also prevent video or audio from suddenly playing in the background. Closing out of all websites may also help your Zoom call load more efficiently.

16. Practice using Zoom

Get to know Zoom and all of its capabilities. Test out the software by having video chats with friends and family. You could even do a few mock interviews to get a sense of what this type of interview feels like. Have your friends and family ask you typical interview questions and give you feedback afterward.

17. Use appropriate body language

Related: Interview Mistake: Forgetting About Your Nonverbal Communication

In this video, Jenn, a career coach, discusses a common interviewing mistake, and how body language can be a powerful way to influence your interviewer.

One benefit of using video chat rather than a phone call is that you get to see each other's body language and facial expressions. During your interview, sit up tall with your hands in your lap and your feet on the floor. While you speak, you may use your hands as well if that's natural for you. As your interviewer speaks, use nonverbal cues such as nodding and smiling to show that you're listening.

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your Listening Skills (With Examples)

18. Ask your interviewer questions

As you learn more about the role, take a mental note of what questions you want to ask at the end of your interview. You can also prepare questions you have prior to the interview, so you definitely have something to ask. Make sure to listen throughout your interview so you only ask questions about topics the interviewer hasn't covered yet. Appropriate questions include:

  • Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?

  • How would you describe the company culture?

  • What do you enjoy the most about working here?

Nonverbal communication is one of many tools that can help you make a good impression in interviews and in your professional life. However, candidate assessments should be based on skills and qualifications, and workplaces should strive to be inclusive and understanding of individual differences in communication styles.

Related: “What Skills Do I Need To Be Successful?”

Jenn explains the strategy behind asking the question “What Skills Do I Need To Be Successful?” including what you could learn and what it tells the interviewer about you.

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