Author: Mike Scaletti
So, you've gotten your resume perfected, you caught the eye of a recruiter and got a callback, you've prepped for some of the more common interview questions, but now there's a new twist in the process. The interview is on Zoom!
Many companies have shifted some of the ways they do business over the course of the last year, and one of the most common shifts is a switch to virtual interviews. Prepping for a video interview comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties, especially if you have limited experience using video conferencing tools to this point. If you really want to maximize your chances of landing a job at this point, mastering the Zoom interview is a must, and these tips can help.
TIPS TO MASTER THE ZOOM INTERVIEW
Be On Time
This feels like it should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how often we deal with people being late for their interviews, virtual or otherwise. Double-check all the details when you are scheduling the interview. Do you have the correct time and the proper meeting ID/invite? When preparing to attend your virtual interview, aim to join the meeting a few minutes early. This gives you time to adjust for any technical difficulties you may have, allows you to test your camera and audio settings, and gives you a moment to settle yourself before the interview. The last thing you want is to be flustered by the thought of being late or by any unforeseen technical issues.
Know Your Way Around the Tech
Many of those unforeseen technical issues can be headed off with some simple practice. Make sure you have the video conferencing software of choice (whether Zoom, Skype, or something else) downloaded and installed well in advance, and take the time to run a few test meetings. If you're comfortable with the software it will be one less worry on your mind the day of the interview.
Have All Your Materials Ready
In any interview, there will be things you need to have available to you. Your resume, your portfolio, your references, these are things you want to have at your fingertips. You don't want to be shuffling around looking for something that the interviewer asks you for. Know what is expected of most interviewees, and be prepared to provide it.
Pro Tip: Have a glass of water off camera. Interview nerves can give you dry mouth, and a quick sip of water can not only solve that problem but also give you a brief moment to gather your thoughts.
Dress for the Occasion
Many of us have spent an inordinate amount of time on out PJs and comfy pants over the course of the last year. That's been great, but don't forget that an interview, virtual or otherwise, is a professional engagement, and professional engagements require you to put on pants! Find out what the company culture expects of its employees' dress (a staffing agency like The Job Shop can help provide that info if you're working with one), and aim to be just slightly above that. Business Casual is usually a safe bet.
Set Up Your Interview Space
Having a neat and clean space to conduct the interview in can go a long way to making a great impression. Make sure your background is organized, professional, and aesthetically pleasing. You can use a virtual background in Zoom, but it's not always entirely reliable, especially if you're using an older device to run Zoom on. Plus, an organized space will help keep your mind organized while in the interview!
Even if you are using a virtual background, make sure your space is well lit and your camera is clean. Smudges on the camera and light that is dim or too bright will keep you from looking your best in your interview.
Well that's it, stay tuned for more great tips from The Job Shop Blog!