How To Nail A Zoom Job Interview
Being able to differentiate yourself from potential employees is more important than ever in a socially distant future
Now that being socially distant is the new norm for the foreseeable future, job interviews are a lot different.
While the prospect of being able to interview in your pajamas is appealing, there is a certain etiquette that you need to nail down.
Just because we are not in a physical office anymore, doesn’t mean that you should let the sense of pride slip away. Because competition is going to be more fierce than ever in the digital future.
Potential employers are being flooded with thousands of viable employees, many of which have relocated or been unemployed for a year now. This means that everyone is bringing their A-Game to the table.
I discovered in my most recent interview for a position with a digital media company that I needed to come out swinging. Below are the steps that I took to make my Zoom interview a success.
Look Professional — Not Comfortable
The number one thing on an employer’s mind when they see you on video is whether you can be productive from home.
Although it has been proven over the pandemic that working from home can be effective, there are still those doubters.
So the first thing that you need to do is present a professional appearance. Business attire, a quietly organized surrounding, and if possible, a professional backdrop.
I used a wall in my house that has a nice oil painting, but any clean area will suffice. You don’t want to have your cat walking across your desk in the middle of the interview.
You need to come off like it is another day at the physical office. Show the potential employer that you take this position just as seriously as you would have pre-pandemic.
Remember, you are going to be managing yourself and you need to purvey confidence in the potential company.
Lighting and Ambiance
Again, I can’t overstate how important the visual appearance is to a potential employer. Taking a dark webcam shot in a poorly lit room doesn’t do anything for the interviewer.
Instead, improving your lighting can make for a pleasant headshot that gives the interviewer a realistic view of you. Lighting can change the way that we are viewed by the other party.
I invested in a nice LED desk lamp to ensure that there was enough “white light” focusing on my face. The result was a professional video and I think that it helped me a lot in my interview.
You also want to make sure that you have a professional appearance at your desk. A nice plant within view and a notepad will show the potential employer that you have taken an interest in the job.
Don’t overdo it, but go the extra mile.
Utilize a Headset
One of the most frustrating things about conducting video fencing is that the audio can be sketchy. Outside noises can cause a lot of interference and echo. If you want to avoid echo chamber sound, a headset is preferred.
Most headsets are designed for back-and-forth conversation, which makes them ideal for interviews. The appearance of a headset also shows your potential employer that you are taking the interview seriously.
The clean audio quality means that you can hear questions without issue and reply promptly as well. You’ll also be able to compose a nice professional demeanor because you won’t be struggling to hear.
Earpods work as well, but you run the risk of them falling out or losing charge during the interview.
A headset will present a much more professional look while at the same time ensuring the potential employer that you are home office-ready.
Maintain Your Focus
Doing video interviews can be a tad bit more difficult. Thus, keeping eye contact is one of the most important things to master.
Little distractions can take our eyes away even for a second, be it a notification in the corner of the screen or your phone receiving a text. Silence all of these, because you need to maintain that focus on your interviewer.
It helps to have auto-focus enabled on your webcam and doing a practice run before your interview helps as well. I like to practice my responses that I think the employer might be asking me ahead of time.
The less that you stutter and the more calibrated your answers are, the better you will do. There is no doubt that interviewing in a Zoom window is intimidating, but you can do it.
Ask Your Interviewer Questions
Finally, we pinpoint the most important aspect of your Zoom interview. Making sure to ask your interviewer questions will show that you are genuinely interested in the job.
A person who doesn’t ask questions in a job interview is just someone who is looking for a job. While that’s fine, it doesn’t indicate that you are interested in growing with the company.
I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews and I always hired the person who was interested in the company.
Take time to ask about the backstory of the company, ask about company culture, heck ask the interviewer how they started with the company. This attention to detail is going to impress the potential employer.
You are going to look like someone who can not only work your way up in the company but also hold your own in a conference.
Zoom Meetings Are The Future
The pandemic has been one giant test run into telecommuting, and it worked. Employers now see that working from home is not something to be afraid of.
If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that employees are much happier with a sense of detachment from the desk.
Thus, you are probably going to be doing a lot of Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future. So take this time to perfect the art of the Zoom meeting and give yourself a fighting shot.
Acing the interview is easy, you’ve got this.