Zoom Interview Tips
As any business owner knows, change is constant. This is especially true in the staffing industry, where new technologies and trends can quickly make old methods obsolete.
For instance, before 2020, all our interviews were conducted in person. However, with the COVID pandemic, we had to adapt and started offering virtual interviews to candidates. This change not only allowed us to reach a wider pool of potential candidates but also became a norm in our hiring process. Today, over half of all our interviews are conducted virtually compared to in-person.
Since transitioning to virtual interviews, we’ve encountered various mistakes made by candidates. Some are minor, like having candidates accidentally mute themselves or forget to turn on their camera. However, others have been more significant.
Given our extensive experience with virtual interviews, we’d like to share some essential tips on what not to do during a Zoom interview.
Make Sure to Test Your Video Platform Before Going on an Interview
One of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make is not taking the time to familiarize themselves with the video conferencing platform being used, whether it’s Zoom, WebEx, or another platform. It’s important to ensure that your camera and audio are working properly before the interview begins. This will help the interview run smoothly and leave a positive impression on the interviewer.
We understand that technical issues can arise, especially if you’re new to using video conferencing platforms. However, joining the interview with your video and audio already working can make a great first impression. Take the time to test your equipment beforehand to ensure everything is functioning correctly.
To prepare for your virtual interview, we recommend practicing joining a video conference 10-20 minutes before your scheduled interview time. This will give you an opportunity to troubleshoot any technical issues and ensure a smooth start to the interview.
Remember, virtual interviews are becoming increasingly common, and it’s important to adapt to this new way of interviewing. By avoiding these common mistakes and taking the time to prepare and familiarize yourself with the video conferencing platform, you’ll increase your chances of success in virtual interviews.
Make Sure Your Camera Works Before Your Zoom Interview
It is crucial to have a functioning camera during your Zoom interview. Employers and recruiters opt for virtual interviews to put a face to the name. Without a working camera, the purpose of platforms like Zoom and WebEx becomes futile.
If your laptop’s camera is not functional, it is essential to use your phone as an alternative. The whole point of video conferencing is to enable visual communication, so having a working camera is paramount.
In some instances, candidates are unprepared to be on camera. Some resort to fabricating excuses about their camera being broken, which raises concerns for employers. To avoid such red flags, always ensure that you are ready for the interview by dressing professionally and having either a phone or laptop with video capabilities at hand.
Remember, making a positive impression during a virtual interview requires being visually present and well-prepared.
Make Sure You Are in a quiet room
Have you ever experienced the challenge of attending an in-person interview and encountering distractions like barking dogs or crying babies in the background? Chances are, it’s not a common occurrence. That’s why it’s crucial to find a quiet space when participating in a virtual interview.
We understand that you may have responsibilities at home, such as caring for a baby or living with energetic pets. However, it’s important to ensure that these sounds do not interrupt your virtual interview, which typically lasts around 30 minutes.
Employers greatly appreciate candidates who take the initiative to create a distraction-free environment for their Zoom interviews. They would much prefer you finding a quiet spot in your car than conducting the interview from your home office with noisy dogs in the background. Not only can such distractions be off-putting, but they may also be perceived as unprofessional.
Remember, finding a quiet room or location for your virtual interview demonstrates your commitment to making a strong and focused impression during the interview process.
Make Sure You Are Dress Professionally in a Professional Environment
Ensuring a professional appearance during virtual interviews may appear like a basic tip, but it’s surprising how many individuals disregard this aspect. We frequently encounter candidates who show up in casual attire, wear hats, or even conduct interviews from their beds. It’s essential to treat a virtual interview as seriously as an in-person one and dress professionally accordingly.
For male candidates, it is advisable to wear at least a button-down shirt and a tie. If you’re uncertain about which tie color to choose, each color conveys a different meaning, so make sure to choose the right one!
Furthermore, it’s crucial to avoid being in bed during an interview whenever possible. However, if circumstances require you to be in bed, ensure that you maintain a professional posture by sitting up straight. Consider the virtual interview as an actual in-person interview, as your professionalism on video can significantly impact the impression you make on potential employers.
Just like you wouldn’t show up to an interview with wet hair and sweatpants, it’s important not to present yourself in such a manner for a virtual interview. Remember, maintaining a professional appearance demonstrates your commitment and respect towards the interview process.
Do Not Eat or Drink On Zoom
Consuming food or beverages during a Zoom interview is considered unprofessional and can be distracting for the employer. Keep in mind that the employer has set aside 30 minutes of their valuable time to connect with you, and they expect the same level of professionalism in return. It’s important to refrain from eating or drinking during the interview and instead take a break to finish your meal or beverage after the call concludes.
While it is rare to witness individuals eating during a Zoom interview, we have observed instances where candidates take sips of coffee or sneak it some snacks. Engaging in such behavior while the interviewer is speaking can imply a lack of attentiveness on your part. Unless the interview is scheduled for over an hour, there should be no need to consume any food or beverages during the interview.
Remember, maintaining focus and giving undivided attention during the interview showcases your professionalism and respect for the interviewer’s time.
Do Not Use Your Phone While on An Interview
With the increasing popularity of virtual interviews, the habit of texting during these interviews has become more prevalent. It’s tempting to engage in text conversations on your phone while on a virtual interview since you can easily do it off-screen. However, by focusing on texting, you run the risk of missing out on valuable information being conveyed during the interview. If an employer notices that you are texting or constantly glancing at your phone, they may immediately eliminate you from consideration for the position.
It’s important to recognize that dedicating just 30 minutes of your time to focus solely on the interview without using your phone is crucial. This demonstrates your ability to prioritize and maintain professionalism during the interview process. Employers may consider your behavior during the interview as an indication of your potential work ethic. If you can’t refrain from using your phone for a short duration, it raises doubts about your ability to stay focused and productive during an 8-hour work shift.
Remember, giving your undivided attention and avoiding distractions like texting showcases your commitment, respect, and suitability for the position.
Make Sure Your are on time
It is essential to be punctual and prepared for your scheduled Zoom call. If your virtual interview is set for 2:00 pm, aim to be ready at least 5 minutes prior. Arriving late, such as at 2:05 pm, can reflect poorly on your work ethic and professionalism.
However, unforeseen technical issues can occur, such as computer problems or unexpected updates right before the meeting. In such situations, it is advisable to promptly reach out to the employer via phone or email. Inform them that you may be a few minutes late due to a technical issue and apologize for the inconvenience caused. While being late is not ideal, proactively communicating the issue beforehand demonstrates your responsibility and consideration.
By informing the interviewer in advance, there is a higher likelihood that they will understand the situation. Employers appreciate transparency and proactive communication when facing unexpected challenges.
Remember, being punctual and addressing technical issues professionally showcases your reliability and commitment to the interview process.