As the world has embraced video communication throughout the global pandemic, an inevitable trend has emerged – the rise of the Zoom interview.
While video and phone call interviews had already been gaining in popularity with many companies at the first stage of the recruitment process, we are now seeing a considerable increase in more formal interviews at every level taking place on Zoom or other online platforms.
But with new technology come new challenges for would-be interviewees. While you may no longer have to worry about getting stuck in traffic, or finding a hidden away office, there are still some ways in which you can prepare yourself to give the perfect zoom interview.
Check your tech (and have a backup)
If you have not used Zoom before, it’s probably worth giving yourself a trial run before the “big day”. You need to check that your microphone, speaker and video is working on the device that you are going to use. Zoom has a free to use version, so set up a couple of practice calls with friends or family so you can get familiar with how the platform works.
Sometimes the best-laid plans can go wrong, so make sure that before your call you have a phone contact number and your mobile close to hand should anything get cut off during the interview.
Prepare your space
As well as doing a run through to check your tech, it's wise to ensure that you choose the right space for your interview. Firstly, good lighting is essential – too much background light and your interview panel will be dazzled (and not in the right way), too little and you can appear to look green! So do a test at around the same time of day as you are going to having the interview a few days beforehand so you can get your position exactly right.
If you are going to be using a mobile rather than a laptop or desktop computer, consider investing in a cheap tripod so that it stays steady.
It's also a good idea to ensure that you're in a room where you will have no distractions, so let your household know to keep away, and try and keep pets out of the space you will be using. Also, consider noise levels – background noise can easily sound louder through a computer speaker, so turn off your TV and radio, and avoid putting the washing machine on a loud spin cycle!
Dress as you would if it were a face to face meeting. While a full suit with jacket and tie may not be needed in most cases, take a look at the culture of the business you are looking to work in, and dress appropriately.
Also, while there may be a temptation to be "business on top – pyjamas on the bottom" to feel your best it's a good idea to make sure you're dressed to impress from top to toe.
Focus on your body language
An interesting side effect of the online experience is that it's easy to forget that you are effectively "face to face" with your interviewers. It can take a little practice to get this right, but remember that eye contact will mean looking into your laptop camera.
While a Zoom interview may seem a little daunting if you've not attended one before – remember the interview panel will want you to do well – and for many, it will be new for them too. So relax, put your best foot forward and enjoy the unique experience.