Best Practices for Zoom Interview

Many interviews have been shifted online. It all started at the time the world faced the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

For those who are not accustomed to virtual interviews and may be feeling a bit anxious, it is comforting to know that most of the techniques used to succeed in face-to-face interviews are also applicable to Zoom interviews. Yes, there may be a few challenges here and there, but fret not, because we got you. 

Below is a list of our best tips to make it through your Zoom interview with flying colors:
1) Check the time zone mentioned in the email. If the interviewer is from a different country, the time zone may be specific to his/her region. Use available converters online to ensure that your time/date is aligned with the interviewer’s.

2) Set an alarm an hour before your scheduled interview. Remember that the only thing you save is your travel time. Other than that, you still need time to dress to impress. Also, give some time to get your frame of mind wired up for that interview.

3) Choose a nice spot. Should you have a suitable internet connection at home, select a place where no housemates or pets could disturb you. You don’t want your cat jumping in front of your camera, or someone dressed in jammies walking behind you in the middle of your interview.

4) Pick a good background. You want the interviewer focused on you and not with what’s happening in your surroundings. If possible, opt for a plain light-colored backdrop. Needless to say, a messy background is a definite no-no.

5) Start setting-up 30 minutes in advance. Check if you need to update your zoom application as you will not be able to use an outdated version. Recover the email that contains the zoom link and be ready to join the meeting 2 minutes prior to the designated time.

6) The magical lighting. If your lamp is stationed above or beside you, it will cast unwanted shadows on you. Similarly, if you sit behind a light source, the light will reduce you to a silhouette. It is best to face a natural light source such as a window. Otherwise, you can have a well-lit incandescent lamp positioned in front of you, right behind your computer.

7) Know your angles. Living in the ‘age of selfies’, we love choosing our most beautiful angles where we tend to tilt our head sideways, or hold the camera from above. For interviews, though, there is a standard professional angle where we need to look directly at the screen positioned at the same level as your face.

8) Frame your best look. Your screen should show the top of your head down to at least three inches below your shoulder blade. It would be good to dab off any oil from your face with a hanky or a dash of face powder. For women, it is advisable to wear light make-up that would mask the dark circles beneath your eyes and at the same time, highlight your best features. 

9) Don’t let any interference ruin your answers. If you are using a headset, your microphone should not rub against anything to avoid creating an irritating rustling noise. Keep it slightly away from the face so as not to capture heavy breathing or bursts of sounds.

10) Smile, nod and wave your hands. Bring in that positive energy every time you flash a radiant smile. Make sure your eyes always have that glimmer to express your interest in the conversation. Feel free to use hand gestures to express your ideas.  Nod whenever you agree. Although you only have your screen to communicate with the interviewer, there is no stopping you from expressing your thoughts and emotions.

We are fortunate that through technology, distance and time, as well as the effects of this pandemic no longer serve as a hindrance to holding important meetings such as job interviews. Times are quickly changing and we need to adapt. It is therefore necessary for us to learn those ins and outs of technology for us to fully function in this new reality.

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