20 best tips to prepare for a Zoom interview
Whether you’re being interviewed for a job or you’re being interviewed on live TV to promote your business or brand, it’s probably all happening on Zoom. With the onset of the COVID pandemic, companies have had to adapt their interview processes to suit a world that is becoming more virtual-based than ever before. You don’t want to be left in the dark and miss out on opportunities because you’re not prepared to do an interview over Zoom. Read on to learn the 20 best tips to prepare for a Zoom interview.
Equipment needed for a Zoom interview
- Upgrade your microphone. Using the older, wired Apple headphones will give you the bare minimum quality you need to be heard, but they’re not professional level. If you’re looking to represent yourself or your brand in a more professional way, it might be good to look into getting a podcast microphone, such as a Yeti.
- Use a higher quality webcam. Most likely, the quality of the webcam that comes installed on your computer won’t be up-to-par. To get a clearer video, switch to a more higher quality aftermarket webcam. Logitechs are great quality and start at 50 dollars.
- Have ideal lighting. If your lighting is dark, you’ll look like you’re filming on a 10 year old camera, no matter how high quality and fancy your webcam is! Make sure that your lighting is flattering; make sure your lighting source is in front of you rather than behind to avoid washing you out. Natural lighting is best (and free!).
- Get familiar with your equipment. It’s one thing to have all the equipment that you need. It’s another to not know how to use it! Make sure your study your equipment and how to use it to yield the results you need.
Preparing for your Zoom interview
- Don’t script your answers word from word. You might think that in order to have the smoothest possible zoom interview, you’ll want to script every word you’re going to say. However, it’s more than likely that while you will be asked questions, they will be asked in a more conversational style. Therefore, it’s better to have talking points that you elaborate on naturally rather than forcing yourself to memorize an unnatural sounding script.
- Research your interviewer. You don’t want to hop on your zoom interview having prepared your answers and set up, but not being prepared to know anything about the interviewer. Knowing background information and certain questions that the interviewer tends to ask will help you appear knowledgeable and will improve your interviewer’s opinion of you.
- Practice for your Zoom interview with a friend. Having a trusted friend simulate the interview for you will help you to release any nerves you may have about being interviewed. Have your friend ask open ended questions that require you to respond in-depth. Better to be over prepared than under!
- Practice by yourself. It’s also important to prepare for your Zoom interview by practicing by yourself. Interviewing on camera is a lot different than interviewing in person.
Right before your interview
- Set up five minutes before. It might take you a minute to plug in and turn on all equipment. You don’t want to be fiddling with that stuff right as the interview starts.
- Double check your interview time and date. This is just common sense! Part of being prepared for your zoom interview is knowing when that interview actually starts!
- Make sure your equipment is charged. There’s nothing more embarrassing than the thought of your equipment dying in the middle of your interview! Talk about unprepared! Yikes!
- Have a secure internet connection. Though the potential for lagging and glitching while using Zoom is always there, if your internet connection is secure, you can minimize these interruptions.
- Make sure there are no distractions. Make sure the baby is asleep, the dog is outside, and that your phone is on mute! Distractions are highly unprofessional and look bad on your brand or image.
Presenting yourself during a Zoom interview
- Have professional attire. Another way to dampen your brand’s reputation? Showing up to a Zoom interview in your pajamas. You don’t have to wear pants, but at least put on a nice shirt (and if you don’t wear pants… make sure not to stand up!).
- Use appropriate body language. Having great posture shows that you’re confident, even if you’re not a complete expert in the topic you’re speaking about!
- Be energetic and animated! Your interview is your chance to shine. You don’t want to bore your audience or your interviewer to death.
- Be clear, concise, and don’t speak too fast. It’s easy for words to get cut out over Zoom. Make sure you’re speaking slowly and clearly so that your audience doesn’t miss out on important information you may be sharing.
- Use the mute button. When it’s the other person’s time to talk, give them their chance! Muting yourself helps prevent any unexpected background noises from interrupting who’s speaking.
- Look into the camera when speaking. You’ll want to appear as if you’re giving eye contact to whoever is watching you on Zoom. Make sure to look in the camera and not at yourself. Trust us, it’s glaringly obvious.
- Ask the interviewer questions! Yes, you are being interviewed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask a few questions of your own. Asking questions shows genuine interest and helps the conversation flow more naturally.
Keeping these helpful hints in mind for when you have your next Zoom interview will help you be as prepared as possible while representing your brand or business professionally!