You’ve put in all the hard work of updating your resume, applying for jobs, going through phone screens, and now you’ve finally landed an interview with an amazing company. In the past, this would require you to take time off of your current job (or time away from your family), dress up in your professional best, plan your commute, go to the interview destination, nervously wait in a board room or conference room, and then proceed with your interview. Nowadays, most of this prep is cut out, with 82% of employers conducting interviews virtually, according to the 2021 Indeed Hiring Trends Report. So, how do you go about prepping and nailing your virtual or “Zoom” interview? Here are 10 tips for a successful Zoom interview.
1. Scout the Perfect Location Ahead of Time
It’s important to find a quiet place to take the interview. Scout the place ahead of time. If you are planning on taking the interview at home, test the noise level around you. If you can’t find a place at home, perhaps you have a noisy dog, roommate, or kids, then look for places outside of the home. Take advantage of conference rooms in a library or co-working spaces.
2. Test Your Video and Audio
Always test your video and audio ahead of time. If you plan on using headphones or Airpods, make sure they are connected, with no echo. For video, make sure you have a clean background behind you. The last thing you want is your background to be cluttered with junk. If you can’t find a place clear of clutter, try blurring your background or taking advantage of the free backgrounds Zoom offers. Just make sure if you are using the free backgrounds, that they are professional looking.
3. Dress Professionally
Although you aren’t going into a physical location, you still should dress as if you are. If you are male, this may mean a collared shirt or suit and tie. If you are a female, this may mean a nice blouse or dress. It never hurts to overdress for the interview instead of underdressing. Make sure, your clothes are wrinkle-free and presentable. Also, make sure your appearance is well-groomed.
4. Put Away Distractions
It’s important during your interview you are distraction-free. This means putting away cell phones and any other things that may cause a distraction. You may also want to put your laptop or computer into “Do Not Disturb” mode to snooze any notifications you may get during the interview.
5. Know Your Audience
As with any interview, you should know who you are meeting with ahead of time. This includes names, titles, and job duties. Do your research. The last thing you want to happen is being caught off guard and not remembering someone you are interviewing with’s name or job title.
6. Practice Your Elevator Pitch
Practice your elevator pitch, or short 30 to 90-second introduction to yourself and your goals, in front of a camera. This will help you ensure you sound confident and are making good eye contact throughout. If you need help creating an elevator pitch, check out this resource. You will learn everything you need to know about creating and executing your elevator pitch.
7. Don’t Rush
Don’t try to pack your Zoom interview into an already busy day. Try not to have a hard stop or plan anything before or after that may cause you to run late or rush through the interview. You want the interviewer to know that they have your exclusive attention and time.
8. Have a Backup Plan in Case the Interview Drops
You should always have a backup plan in the event of technology troubles. This may include having the interviewer's email and phone number to contact to either reschedule or conduct via phone. Technology glitches happen and most people understand, but you don’t want to be left out to dry in the event of a glitch or outage.
9. Follow Up
As with any interview, you should follow up with the interviewer after the interview thanking them for their time and asking any additional questions you may have or requesting any information they may need. If you don’t hear back right away, don’t fret. They may still be going through the interview process with other candidates, but you should continue to follow up and keep them up to date on your job search as well.
10. Be Yourself
This sounds cheesy and goes without saying, but letting your personality shine through is important. You want to make sure you are a fit for the company just as the company is a fit for you. Have fun with the interview. You are a person and not a robot, just as the interviewer is a person and not a robot.
Good luck with your job search! Contact us today to learn more about our openings and see how we can help you with your job hunt.