Top 10 Essential Tips for Zoom Interviews

By Morgan LeGrand -

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. —Alexander Graham Bell

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the world, employment, and the way we interact with each other. Many companies looking to hire are using video interviews to maintain health and safety measures for all participants. Video interviews are more prominent now than ever. Here are 10 tips to help you succeed in all video interviews.

1. Use a Neutral Background

You want the interviewer's attention to be on you, not your background. Minimize anything that may take focus away from you by positioning yourself in front of the most neutral background. Whether this is a clean office background or a plain wall in your home, pick the space that will cause the least amount of distractions. You should avoid using any digital backgrounds since these tend to look unrealistic and can be distracting for the interviewer.

2. Declutter your Space

You want your space to reflect your mindset and appearance. Having a cluttered space can clutter your thoughts, distract you during the interview, and cause unnecessary stress. Whether you're taking this video interview at your office desk, kitchen table, or a desk in your bedroom, make sure your space is clean and organized.

3. Check the Lighting

Before your interview, turn on your camera and assess the lighting. LED, fluorescent, and incandescent lighting can have different effects on your camera. Try finding a neutral space with natural lighting for the best results.

4. Check your Internet Connection

You may be using your computer in a new area to ensure you have a neutral background. Check your internet connection to make sure you have the capability and bandwidth to use video conference software in that area.

5. Download and Check Necessary Software

Whether your interviewer prefers Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, make sure you are fully prepared to use the appropriate software at your designated interview time. If you've had the programs downloaded on your computer for a while, you should open them and check that they are still working properly. You don't want to be late to your interview because Zoom needed a software update.

6. Fully Charge your Device

If you are using a laptop, make sure it is 100% charged. Keep your charger nearby for easy access in case there's a technology emergency. You should always be prepared for the worst and hope for the best!

7. Dress (all the way) for Success

Treat this video interview like any other in-person interview when it comes to a dress code. Sweat pants on the bottom and business professional on top is not the way to go.  Make sure you are wearing your full professional ensemble —yes, even the shoes. Wearing your full business attire will make you feel more prepared and can improve your confidence.

8. Check Your Posture

This tip is just as important for video interviews as it is for in-person interviews. Your interviewer can gauge your level of interest and your professionalism through body language, even on video. Make sure you sit up straight and radiate confidence.

9. Be Prepared

Just as you would for a standard in-office interview, make sure you are prepared! Research the industry, the company, the position, and the interviewer. Before your interview, write down any important information that will be relevant to your discussion and keep it nearby, but off camera. This is also the best place to jot down any questions you want answered during your interview. Having all of this information available will help organize your thoughts throughout the conversation, and ensure you don't forget key questions you want to ask the interviewer.

10. Take Notes

Keep a pen and paper nearby for any notes you may want to take during your interview. Taking notes can help you in future correspondence with the company. For example, notes you take during your interview can be used as a reference for your "Thank you" emails, and can also be referred to in any secondary interviews . Writing down the specifics of a project the company is currently working on can give you an advantage in future interviews with the same company. However, make sure you are able to do this discreetly! You don't want to appear distracted when the interviewer is speaking.

Good luck!