Career

How To Nail A Zoom Interview And Score A Sweet New Gig Without Leaving Your Couch

By Emma Edwards
11th Aug 2020

a woman smiles while doing a video chat on her laptop

The last few months have seen us take almost everything online. Even the most digital creatures are struggling to cope with just how much of our lives we must now live through a screen—and yet, we still can’t say no to another episode on Netflix… the irony. Despite tiresome Zoom quizzes and manufactured fun on Meets having just about run their course, one thing remains: video interviews.

Despite being kinda relieved that the sweaty palmed, suited and booted reality of in-person interviews is paused for a while, navigating a virtual interview can be equally daunting. Here are our top tips on nailing a video job interview and landing that dream gig without a single awkward handshake.

Smarten Up, Buttercup

Look, if there’s one saving grace of doing things virtually, it’s that grainy laptop cameras don’t show too much detail on your appearance. On any other day, you can get away with joining the morning meeting in your PJs with your hair unbrushed. No judgement here. For an interview, though, go smart from the waist up! Brush that hair, slick on some lippy and a turtleneck, and go get ‘em.

Look At The Actual Camera

When it comes to Zoom quizzes with the fam or catching up with friends while watching Bachelor in Paradise, it’s definitely a good chance to check yourself out in the feedback camera. Not for an interview, though. 

The lack of in-person contact makes it hard for interviewers to read body language or gauge your true reactions. When there’s little to no eye contact either, it’s even tougher to sense what a person is really like. By speaking slowly, clearly and directly looking at the little camera hole on your computer, you instantly convey a more personal insight into who you are. Go schmooze, you charmer.

No Cheating

An interview through a screen might sound like a dream come true. The adulting version of an open book exam, you might say. But, if you’re planning on reaching for Google or your notes if the interviewer asks you a question that stumps you, think again. 

Be as prepared as you would be for an in-person interview. When you’re asked about the company and it’s clear you’re having a sneaky Google, it’s not a good look.

Get As Much Privacy As You Can 

In an ideal world, we’d all have a spare room at the end of the house with perfect lighting and flawless WiFi from which to show our best hireable selves to the human on the other side of the Zoom camera. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for many of us.

Get as much space and silence as you can to avoid interruptions, but if you suspect you might be disturbed, politely make the interviewer aware at the start of the interview. Most of the time they’ll totally get it, and it can be a nice ice breaker, too.

By acknowledging anything that might go wrong in advance, you’re demonstrating that you’re committed to the interview and that you’ve tried your best. Allowing things to go awry without any context can look like you’re not all that prepared.

Download The Software In Advance

Whether it’s Zoom, Teams, Meets, Webex or any other video conferencing software, make sure you’re set up and ready to join the call a couple of minutes early. Getting stuck trying to login or download the program can make you late, and might leave you in a fluster before you’ve even started. 

Now you’re interview prepped, juice up that CV with these attention-grabbing templates, and go get hired!

Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.

Image Credit: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

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