18 Ways to Prepare for Zoom Interviews
With technology advancing every day, we have seen platforms like Zoom and Webex almost eliminate in-person interviews for good. Zoom interviews tend to be more convenient and more accessible than traditional in-person interviews. There are many similarities between a Zoom interview and an in-person interview. However, the ways you prepare for each may be a little different. We will share the top 18 ways to prepare for your next Zoom interview.
Practice using Zoom
The first step to learning anything is practice. Tom Brady would never be the player he is today without practice. If you are new to using Zoom, the easiest way to get used to it is practice. Before you do anything else to prep for an interview, make sure you know all the platform’s capabilities. Test out the platform with friends and family to fix any problems that arise before the interview.
Take a step further. Get a sibling, parent, grandparent, or friend to do a mock interview with you. Have them invite you to a Zoom meeting and have them ask you questions like a typical interview. Make sure you fix all the technical difficulties like mic volume and camera situation during this mock interview, so it doesn’t happen during the actual Zoom interview—no need for a big mistake to occur on a Zoom call.
Updating your resume should be done before you apply for jobs! However, sometimes things come up, and you haven’t had time to add a recent job or accomplishment onto it. Before your Zoom interview, make sure you take 30 minutes to update everything on your resume, including dates, new jobs, etc.
Not sure if your resume needs updating? Well, it is better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes resumes aren’t updated for months. The best thing to do is take a minute and decide what you want to add to it before starting your interview. If you are interviewing for a sales role at a local fish market, maybe adding that summer job you worked at a local seafood restaurant to your resume.
You should do these updates before applying, but adding these before your interview is the best option if you forgot or sent the wrong resume. Once you add them, make sure to bring them up during the interview! Then after the interview is over, email them a newly updated resume that you worked on prior.
The thing that will make you the most memorable interviewee is researching the company beforehand. On all the interviews, the hiring manager will most likely ask, “have you heard of us before?” They aren’t asking this to boast or change their interview questions, but they want to know if you took the time to research their company.
Take at least 30 minutes to do all the research you can about the company. The best way to do this is to go on their social media, website, etc. Find any content that you can bring up during an interview. An example of this would be if the interviewer asked you, “Are you familiar with Foster Forward,” you can answer with, “Yes! I didn’t know about them until I was on your social media account and saw that you partnered with them. I ended up looking into them and was surprised I haven’t heard of such a great organization before.” This answer will show that not only did you research their company’s social media, but also their partnered company.
Take notes on what you find and try to bring them up in the interview naturally. More than likely, they will ask if you have heard about them before, and that is your time to shine.
Prepare Questions to Ask
An interview is not just for you to answer questions, but also for the interviewer to answer questions you have. Taking time to write down some questions you have about the company or the position beforehand is a great way to prepare for a Zoom interview. We are all human. There is no way the interviewer answers all your questions. At the same time, there is no way you remember the questions you had before the interview, during the interview. Make sure to write them down!
Not only is asking questions a good way to get to know more about the company and the position, but it also shows that you have a genuine interest in the company and getting hired. The only extra tip we have is not to ask a question that was answered already. Make sure to pay attention!
Charge Your Laptop
One of the simplest things you can do before your Zoom interview to prepare is to charge your laptop. Time and time again have we seen people either show up late to a virtual interview because their computer died. Don’t let this be you. Also, we have been in the middle of an interview, and the screen goes black because the person we are interviewing has an uncharged laptop. Make sure to plug-in your computer an hour beforehand.
Update Your Laptop
Another easy step that we have seen so many people miss. Make sure to turn on your computer 30 minutes to an hour before your virtual interview. Double-check to see if your computer needs an update and if so, get it over with before it automatically updates.
On countless occasions, we have seen people’s laptops decide to update minutes before a Zoom interview, causing them to be late. Make sure to prepare and update beforehand!
Choose a Quiet Room
What can be more annoying than a baby crying or a dog barking over the person you are interviewing with? Nothing. A quiet room is a must for virtual interviews. We understand that sometimes there will be noise in the background, but when the noise makes it impossible to hear, the interviewer will more than likely ask to reschedule.
The tip that we have for you is to mute your mic when you aren’t talking. This isn’t a tip to prepare, but this is a tip for you while you’re on your Zoom call. This feature allows you to mute your mic, so the speaker doesn’t have to hear any sounds on your end. Keeping your mic on mute will also help them concentrate and say what they need to say even if there is background noise on your end.
Choose a Professional Background
Choosing a professional background is one of the most overlooked things when people do virtual interviews. We have seen people lay in bed, feed their dogs, walk around the house, and so much more. Make sure your background is professional with no inappropriate posters, cluttered areas, and an unmade bed.
We understand that some homes may not have the best background, but setting up in front of a wall may be the best way not to show off your messy room!
Find a Bright Room
Your interviewer wants to Zoom call you to see your face and body language. If they were looking to just talk to you, they would have called. However, when they use Zoom, they want to put a face to the name. Being in a brightly lit room is the best way for them to see you easily.
Turn off notifications
With all our devices being able to connect to messages, email, and more, you will get all your notifications on all your devices. Make sure to turn off notifications on the device you are using for your Zoom call. The reason you turn off notifications is it could be a distraction for you and them. Some computers have notification sounds, which may be heard by the interviewer. If you have notifications turned on, you will more than likely read the notification during the interview. Don’t be distracted!
Silence your phone
Similar to turning off notifications, make sure you silence your phone. Your only focus during the interview should be listening to your interviewer, not anyone texting you. It is a good idea to silence your phone and put it away not to be tempted to check it.
We have seen people have their phone ring on Zoom calls, and it can cause interviewers to lose their train of thought. Just turn it off and put it away!
Find a good internet connection
One thing that can give you and the interviewer a headache is a bad internet connection. A bad internet connection can cause your video and audio to cut out at a certain time, making it very difficult for both parties. The best thing to do is to make sure your connection is stable. If you have the option, connect your computer to an ethernet cable!
Test webcam/ headphones
As said before, it is essential to test out Zoom before your interview. Make sure you have a useable webcam and working headphones before you start your interview.
Communicate with your household
To prevent loud background noises and people walking into your interview, make sure to communicate with your household! This will prevent any awkward situations on Zoom!
Pick out professional attire
Whether you are interviewing in-person or virtually, it is crucial to dress professionally. Not sure what color tie you should wear? Not sure what color suit to wear? Play it safe and dress how you would on a regular interview. The more you stand out from others, the better chance you will receive the job offer.
Go over possible questions they may ask
Preparing for a virtual interview has a few differences from interviewing in-person, but this isn’t one of them. You should always prepare yourself and go over possible questions they may ask you. There are many questions an interviewer can ask, so we added a link to a list of potential questions an interviewer can ask you in an interview.
Also, another resource for you can be Glassdoor. If you look up the company on Glassdoor, there is a section for interview questions. Check those out. Most of the time, companies have the same interview questions from previous interviews. Looking up previous interview questions will help you prepare for your interview.
Have references ready
Having references ready before your interview is very important. More than likely, an employer will reach out to your references before they hire you. Having these references ready will help speed up the process and also show that you are prepared. Make sure you contact your references before adding them to your reference list, and make sure you pick the right references!
Log in to Zoom 10 minutes beforehand
Lastly, make sure to log onto Zoom 10 minutes before your interview. That way, you are not in a rush to join the interview and can prepare yourself mentally before. Sometimes Zoom may log you out. Trying to scramble to figure out your password may take time. The safe bet is to log in 10 minutes before to prevent the worry of being late.