20 Tips for Succeeding During Your Zoom Interview

Updated July 24, 2023

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 20 tips on how to prepare for your interview Zoom call.

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

20 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

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. 

Remember to unmute yourself when you're ready to speak. There are many keyboard shortcuts for this, such as holding down the spacebar when you want to talk. 

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. It's helpful to test out the angle of the camera before your call so that you're level and not looking up or down into the lens.

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.

There's also the option to take advantage of one of the Zoom virtual backgrounds. This is helpful if finding a perfect spot is difficult. Your goal is to have the interviewer focused on you and your conversation and not on what's behind you. 

Related: How To Make a Great Impression in a Job Interview: 20 Tips

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. 

Practice a call at the same time of day when your interview is. If you're not normally home at a certain hour, you may not be aware of potential noises from nearby traffic or neighbors.

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.

Read more: 7 Ways To Maintain Focus When Working From Home: A Guide

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.

Related: 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. A well-planned and professional outfit can help you feel prepared and ready to succeed in the interview. 

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.

Print out a copy of the job description and your resume and have it readily available. Then, you can easily refer to either without going back and forth between different open windows during the call. 

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

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?

19. Join five minutes early

To ensure you can connect to the call and have no technical difficulties, consider joining the call at least five minutes early. You can begin preparing for the interview an hour in advance, but it can be a good idea to wait to join the official call. This is also a good time to use the mute feature. Muting yourself while waiting for the other attendees to arrive is standard practice for all types of Zoom calls. 

20. Practice answering questions

Prepare your answers by reviewing common interview questions. You can also ask a friend or family member to help you conduct a mock interview. Trying to speak slowly and deliberately can help you gather your thoughts when posed with a challenging question. You can also always ask the interviewer if you've answered their question if you're unsure.

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 understand of individual differences in communication styles.

Frequently asked questions

How can I follow up after a Zoom interview?

To follow up after a Zoom interview, consider sending the hiring team an email. You can thank them for your time and reinforce your interest in the position. You can also mention one point that was discussed that resonated with you. This shows the company you're excited about the position.

What can I do if I have technical issues?

If you have technical issues before or during an interview, attempt to contact the hiring manager through email or phone. By doing this, you may resolve the issue, reschedule your interview for another time or conduct the interview over the phone instead.

How do I know if my outfit is right for a Zoom interview?

If you're unsure about your outfit, try wearing it in front of the camera. Start a private Zoom call and consider how the outfit may appear to the hiring manager.

Read more: How To Dress for a Job Interview (And What Not To Wear)

Please note that the company mentioned in this article is not affiliated with Indeed.


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