How to Interview over Zoom

 

Interviewing over Zoom requires a few adjustments that you wouldn’t need to make for an in-person interview. You’ll need to make sure you know how to use the software, and you’ll also need to use the right body language and tone of voice to communicate that you’re competent, confident and engaged.  We’ll walk you through everything you need to know in this guide. 

 

The Day Before the Interview

  1. Download the Zoom app to your computer. Choose the first option,  “Zoom Client for Meetings”.  We recommend that you do not attempt to conduct your interview over a mobile phone because the size of the screen will distort your face and you will not have your hands free to take notes.
  2. Check yourself out on camera. Open the Zoom application and turn on the camera. Set up the computer in the location where you intend to hold your interview. Check to make sure:
    • The camera angle is level with your face. Make sure you are not looking down at the camera, nor is it looking up at you.
    • The lighting looks good: Adjust the lighting and make a note of the adjustments so you can quickly go back to them when it’s time to interview.
    • The background is free of distractions. If you decide to use one of  Zoom's virtual backgrounds, be sure the one you choose is a professional setting.
  3. Learn how to accept and log into the meeting from the calendar invite. Here is a 1-minute video showing how to accept a Zoom meeting.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the controls so when it’s time to log on, you know where everything is. Watch this video.

 

Pro tip: Set up a practice session. Before the interview, schedule a mock interview over Zoom with a friend or colleague. Ask your friend to act as an interviewer by asking you the questions you expect your interviewer to ask you. Then ask your friend for feedback after the mock interview is over and make adjustments for the next time.

 

10 Minutes Before the Interview

Take 10 minutes before the start of your interview to make sure everything is right. 

  1. Log onto the Zoom meeting.
  2. Turn on your camera and speaker. Once you confirm these are working as expected, you can turn them off until your interviewer logs on.
  3. Double check your camera angle, the lighting, and remove any background clutter.
  4. Smile! It will give you confidence.

 

During the Interview

 In a virtual interview, it’s important to be aware of your tone and body language. Body language especially is amplified over video. Here are some things to watch out for. Ask your mock interviewer to give you feedback on body language during your practice interview.

 

  1. Slouching or crossing your arms, which can make you look closed off or uninterested.
  2. Hand gestures that are too fast or too frequent.
  3. Talking too fast, which can make you look nervous and cause you to run out of breath. Pause and take a breath as often as you need to.
  4. Saying “um” or “like”. When you feel like saying “um”, just pause and take a breath.
  5. No eye contact at all or a stony stare. Aim for a happy medium.
  6. Uptalk, or making a statement that sounds like a question because your voice goes up at the end of a sentence. This can make you sound unsure of yourself.


You can also watch this helpful video for more tips on body language.