So you’ve landed an interview—congrats! Now the trouble is, it’s a Zoom interview and you’re suddenly lost on how to prepare. No icebreakers in the room to mellow the vibe. And no way to compliment on your interviewer’s plaques on the wall. That was always an easy in pre-Covid! You might be excited about the thought of forgoing the anxiety-ridden trip to your interviewing location which tests the true strength of your antiperspirant. But this is a whole new type of nervousness you’re experiencing which hits you like a drowning wave of crumbling pre-interview anxiety. The reality is, a Zoom interview doesn’t have to be nerve-racking.
You Can Use Your Zoom Interview to Your Advantage. Here’s How it’s Done…
First things first: you must remember this is still a formal interview
With this in mind, just because your interviewing from home does not mean that this is a casual affair. If you’re a male, don a suit. You have to dress for the job that you want, and if you show up on an interview video conference call wearing something you’d put on to go to the grocery store, this is going to make a terrible first impression. Hiring managers want to be impressed. And if you make an effort to wear formal attire for your interview, they’ll take notice, no questions asked. Despite the digital interviewing space of modern times, standard rules still apply.
Use a Zoom interview to your advantage, you’re still in your happy place!
Most of us feel good at home—so wield this to your advantage. You won’t have to worry about the drive, traffic, finding parking, the dreaded walk in to the building, locating the office, or waiting anxiously in the reception area. That’s a lot of positives if you ask me! You are conducting this interview from the luxury of your living space, so stay positive and look at the brightside—because that’s a big bright side. With this in mind, ensure that your home is tidy and well lit. If you share your home with anyone, trying and schedule an interview time when you’ll be home alone or that you know it will be quiet. It’s best to do your interview from a desktop or computer so that your camera stays perfectly still and in place throughout the interview.
Remember, body language is extremely important during your Zoom interview
You might not being the traditional meet-and-greet handshake, but there’s truth in the saying that a first impression is a lasting impression. With this in mind, mentally prep yourself with how you plan to greet your interviewer prior to joining the call. You’ll want to have done your homework just as you would with a face-to-face interview. You need to be well-read on the company, spending several hours reviewing their website, as well as knowing exactly who is going to be interviewing you. If they have a unique name, learn how to properly pronounce it. Find out what their interests are through a quick social media search so you can hopefully find some common ground to break the ice with. Remember, a Zoom interview is still a regular job interview. It’s just not face-to-face is the only real difference.
Eliminating distractions is crucial to the success of your Zoom interview
It doesn’t matter if you’re the most qualified candidate in a sea of potential candidates. If you have a noisy dog, a crying baby, or a loud roommate blending smoothies in the kitchen, this will immediately put off the person interviewing you. You need to show that you’re taking this interview seriously. Do this by eliminating all distractions possible prior to hopping on the conference call.
Focus, Focus, Focus
When we are remote, it’s easy to get distracted for many people. Some people rely heavily on face-to-face interactions to sell themselves and stay engaged. If you are the type who has difficulty focusing, take a proactive approach to alleviate the issue at hand. You want to come across in your Zoom interview focused, engaged, and friendly. If you are not making proper eye contact, or watching yourself on the camera instead of your interviewer, this can signal immediate red flags. Engage with the people you are talking to, give direct eye contact, and keep your eyes on the screen. As I mentioned above, the less distractions, the better. Because focusing is a whole lot easier when you don’t have things to divert your eyes to. I suggest using a headset or headphones of some kind during your interview to keep you engaged.
Remember, Practice Makes Perfect!
When it comes to nailing your Zoom interview, you can obviously incorporate all of the tips above, but the absolute best way to prepare is to familiarize yourself with this video conferencing platform if you haven’t done so already. The whole idea of a Zoom interview can sound intensely intimidating if you’re completely unfamiliar with the way Zoom works. It can be easy to navigate if you’re familiar with the options the service offers.
For example, when you join a Zoom meeting, there is a default setting the host has to manually change so that the person calling in isn’t muted when they join. Not all do this, so prepare yourself for that to save yourself the embarrassment of looking as if you’re lip-syncing when calling in. Zoom.com offers several tutorials to help you learn best practices and tips and tricks so that you can look like a pro every time.