Do’s and Don’ts for Your First Virtual Interview

what not to do on zoom

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What not to do on a Zoom Call


As a staffing agency, we have completely switched from in-person interviews to virtual. There are many benefits to doing this, especially safety. However, we have had many interesting Zoom interviews. Minor mistakes we have seen are candidates accidentally putting themselves on mute or not having a working camera. We also have seen more significant mistakes, such as dressing in sweatpants and lying in bed under the covers.

Because we have done hundreds of virtual interviews since COVID-19, we will go over all the “do not’s” we have seen for Zoom interviews! If you are going on a Zoom interview, here are the best tips for you to prepare adequately! If you haven’t seen our YouTube video yet, check out our page!

Make Sure to Test Your Video Platform Before Going on for an Interview.

Going on a video interview without having any issues with your camera or audio is the easiest way to impress your interviewer. When you prepare for an interview beforehand, you show that you qualified and organized!

We do not see it as a negative when you can’t get the video or audio to work when you first join the zoom call. We understand that these new video platforms can be tricky at first if you don’t have previous experience. With our world-changing and technology updating daily, there is no need to stress if you are having issues. However, if you join the Zoom call unmuted and your video is working, it does make an excellent first impression!

We advise candidates to practice joining a video conference 10-20 min before your virtual interview with an employer.

Quick Tip: Make sure you have headphones, so the employer doesn’t hear any background noise. The last thing you want is the employer being interrupted by any sound in your house.

Make Sure Your Camera Works Before a Zoom Interview.

Don’t be the one that doesn’t have a working camera. You don’t want the Zoom interview to be you staring at the employer the whole time while they are looking at a black screen. Employers would just call you over the phone if they just wanted to talk. The purpose of Zoom and WebEx is to see the individual rather than just hear them.

Often, we have seen candidates not have a working camera or not being prepared to be seen on video. Be equipped with a phone or a laptop that has access to video and always dress to impress!

Make Sure You Are in a Quiet Room!

Have you ever been to an interview in an office and there have been dogs barking in the background or babies crying? More than likely, no. This is why you should be in a quiet room to do your virtual interview. We understand that maybe you have a baby at home or a house full of dogs, but make sure that they are not heard when you go on a 30 min interview.

Companies hiring would much rather have you Zoom interview in your car with no noise than in your home office with dogs barking in the background. Not only is it distracting, but it can be considered unprofessional.

Make Sure You Are Dress Professionally in a Professional Environment.

At first, this may seem like a simple tip, but we have seen individuals show up unprofessionally to virtual interviews. Whether it is dressing in comfortable clothing, wearing hats, or lying in bed, we have seen it all. Make sure you dress up professionally like you are heading to an actual interview.

If you have to be in bed, don’t lay down. Sit up in a professional posture and just think of it as an actual interview rather than a virtual one. The last thing you want is for a company to be impressed with your work ethic and resume, but choose not to hire you based on your professionalism on video.

You would never show up to an interview with wet hair and sweatpants, would you?

Do Not Eat or Drink on Zoom.

Eating and drinking on a Zoom interview is unprofessional and distracting for an employer. An employer is taking 30 minutes out of their busy schedule to meet with you. They hope you can do the same. In those 30 minutes, there should be no reason to eat or drink coffee. Take a break and finish eating or drinking after the call is over!

We have rarely seen anyone eat on Zoom, but we have seen people take sips of coffee or chugging water. When you drink coffee when the interviewer speaks, it shows that you aren’t as attentive as you should be. Unless the interview is over an hour, there should be no need to drink during an interview.

Do Not Use Your Phone While on an Interview.

We discussed this in one of our other blog posts on preparing for a recruiter meeting. With virtual interviews being more relevant than in-person interviews, texting during interviews became more prevalent.

The time you take to answer the text, you may be missing out on valuable information. If an employer sees you texting or looking at your phone, they may immediately take you out of consideration for the position. If you can’t take 30 minutes during an interview to not use your phone, you probably won’t be able to work 8-hour shifts without it. This is what the employer will take into consideration.

Quick tip: If you are interviewing on your phone or Mac, make sure to put it on “Do Not Disturb” to remove the temptation to read the text that pops up.

Make Sure You Are on Time.

As you know, showing up late to anything is wrong. When your scheduled Zoom call is 2:00 pm, make sure you are ready to go at least 5 minutes before. Showing up at 2:05 pm to a virtual interview will look bad on your work ethic. If you have computer issues or it decides to update right before you are about to hop on the virtual meeting, give the employer a call or email them saying you maybe a couple of minutes late to the meeting due to a technical issue.

Quick tip: If your computer does decide to update minutes before the interview, try loading it on your phone to make sure you are still on-time for the meeting!

These are the top tips of what to do and what not to do on a Zoom interview. Now that you know all of the virtual interview tips, are you ready to start interviewing for your dream job? Apply today on our website!! Check out our YouTube Video as well!

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