With the recent changes going on with COVID-19, chances are that if you just landed a job interview it won’t be in person. You’ll have to pull out the computer and figure out how to get a high-quality experience without having your internet connection cut out. Doing Zoom interviews or web conference has become standard nowadays, although figuring out how to make it happen isn’t always that easy. Although having an interview via Zoom or Google Meet instead of at an office may not seem as professional or real, it doesn’t mean that you’ll blow the job interview, it just means that you will have to spend a little more time preparing.
With the tips provided in this article, you can ace every interview! We’ll help you with what to do before to prep for your big interview, what you can do after to make sure to leave lasting impressions (only the good kind, we promise), and some tips for getting the position.
Dress For the Job You Want
Just because it’s not in person anymore doesn’t mean that the same standard rules don’t still apply to your interviews. Show up dressed your best (no sweat pants, no tank tops) and you’ll notice a boost in your confidence. Your standards shouldn’t be lowered just because you’re doing it online, the same basic rules still apply. Dressing up for an online interview, the same way you would if it were in person, is rule number one to landing a job via online interview.
Keep Kids, Pets, And Other Distractions At Bay
You wouldn’t bring your pets or kids to an interview in person so why do it online? Screaming children or barking dogs can quickly seal your deal to let a job offer fall through. It only shows that you don’t take the interview seriously if you’re having constant interruptions from your children or animals. Both can be heard in the background of the interview so make sure that you stay as far away from them as possible. Banish both children and pets from the room during your interviews and you’ll have a much smoother experience. Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. Spouses, ringing telephones, and doorbells can all cause distractions and interruptions. Proper arrangements should be made prior to beginning an online interview.
Both Ask and Answer Questions
With interviews, you have to be capable of both answering and asking questions. Be prepared to answer questions clearly, with examples of past relationships and clear communication. Remember, there’s no shame in asking if they can return to a question at a later point in the interview if caught off guard. Also, keep in mind that the point of the interview isn’t only for the employer to learn more about you, but vice versa as well. Ask questions about the company, your role in the company, and anything else that you think may be needed. It might be helpful to keep a notepad and pen nearby so you can jot down questions as they come to you.
Make Sure Your Lighting Is Flawless
This can be the most difficult part of home interviews, but it can also be the one that will leave the biggest lasting impression, whether negative or positive. Bad lighting over Zoom is like a photo, it can completely ruin how the video quality comes across and leave your interviewer with a bad taste in their mouth. You want enough light that it won’t look like you’re in your dark basement but not too much that it doesn’t look natural. Test out the lighting in your space before the interview and make sure you know what looks best.
Don’t Look At Yourself, Look At The Camera
It’s a bad habit to continually be looking at yourself during the interview instead of attempting to make eye contact through the camera. Look at the camera instead of looking at your own image the entire time. It’s most important that the interviewer can see you, not the other way around. The worst part about doing these interviews online is that all the focus goes on you and looking at yourself instead of getting time to focus on the interview and company. Try to make a habit of looking at the camera instead of the image of yourself on the screen.
Keep The Time Zone In Mind
Always keep the time zone in mind with these things if you’re interviewing for remote work. Your interviewer may live in a different time zone and could have forgotten about the time zone differences or expected you to notice it. Double-check the time zone and make sure that you show up on time, but don’t be too early. Although arriving early at interviews can be a good thing, in some cases it may be awkward online.
Skip The Virtual Backgrounds
It can be tempting to use one of the fun and creative virtual backgrounds that Zoom and other online meeting resources have to offer, but this may not be the best idea. Regardless of what you choose, a GIF, still image, or video, your background will always look fake. Keep in mind that, with using online resources for your interviews, everything is about the experience. You want to create an amazing experience for both you and your interviewer. Choose a natural background instead of a fake one depending on what you have available. Bookcases are a popular choice, but you could choose anything that isn’t distracting.
Make Sure They Can Hear You
Interviewers expect to some extent and can forgive a few bad quality video issues but having issues with your sound isn’t quite as forgivable. Opt to use earbuds for your interview instead of using your computer speakers, this will eliminate some of the background noise so that the interviewer can focus completely on you. With better sound quality, you can be sure that the interviewer can hear you and you can hear them. They’ll know that you’re serious about wanting the position and that you put effort into making sure that there were no quality issues on your side.
Sending a quick follow up email after your interview is a good way to stand out. It can be short and simple, just thank them for their time and ask them to get in touch if they need any further information.
Final Thoughts About Zoom Interviews
Don’t stress out too much when it comes to doing an online job interview. Stress and anxiety won’t help you land the position, and it might come through on camera. Just stay calm and relaxed, good luck!