How to ace your next Zoom interview
With the increasing importance of social distance, virtual meetings, sessions and remote interviews are now the order of the day. With each vertical having its own etiquette, platforms and resources, familiarizing yourself with the digital experience is essential. And if you’re job-hunting, you’ve probably heard the term “Zoom call” a few times already.
Virtual interviews, though not so different from the traditional face-to-face interviews you’ve been doing, come with a set of challenges you need to handle well. Therefore, the Qatar Living Jobs team has put together a collection of tips to help you ace your following video interview.
Familiarize yourself with Zoom beforehand
If you’re trying Zoom for the first time, it’s worth signing up for the application in advance and downloading it on your laptop or your phone. Zoom interviews or calls usually start out with a link sent by the potential employer, which you’ll need to click on first and then just follow instructions to join the meeting. You can participate in a call for which you received a link without registering for an account. But if you want to avail of all the app functionalities, make sure you sign up and join the call from your newly created account. It’s straightforward, but it might take a few minutes and you don’t want to keep the interviewer waiting. If possible, run a test call with a friend or family member, just to explore the app and see its settings, in case you find them useful during the interview.
Choose your background well
Find an area in your space that is clean, clutter-free and well lit. A lot of light is important and if you don’t have natural light coming in, make sure you have a lamp near or above you. For the background, a blank wall usually works best, but some plants or artwork might be suitable too. Zoom also has a feature to choose a virtual background, but it’s more professional to present yourself in a carefully selected environment with a real background behind you.
Silence your phone
Whether you’re participating in the interview on your laptop or phone, you’ll want to ensure your phone is silent, with no vibrations to interrupt or notifications. If you’re on your laptop, it’s best to just put your phone away.
Even though it’s not a physical interview, your physical appearance will leave an impression on the interviewer. Wear your best business attire with either a blazer or a formal shirt and tie, if required. The interviewer may not see your full outfit, but dressing well from top to bottom will also give you the self-confidence you need to ace that interview.
Sort out your Internet connection
Before you log on to the meeting, make sure you have a steady and stable internet connection. If your Wi-Fi is acting up, try connecting to your phone’s internet via hotspot and see if that works better. Running a test call with a friend or family member beforehand is advisable. The last thing you want is to miss out on an important question or have your voice break when you’re explaining something.
Clear out your desktop
Organize your laptop desktop in case you’re asked to share your screen. If you’re a designer who wants to show your portfolio or you have a presentation that you need to show on your screen, you’ll want to make sure your desktop is cleared and looks tidy. Save the required files on a folder on the desktop, and close all unnecessary tabs on your browser.
Face the camera
It can be tricky to maintain eye contact during the interview, especially because the camera lens might be located on top of your screen and your eyes are usually fixed on the screen itself, to look at the interviewer. Make an effort to face the camera directly instead.
Pay attention to body language
Since the interviewer can see you on video, he/she can notice your body language, posture and other movements. Sit up straight and face the camera, do not slouch or sit in a relaxed position. Feel free to visually interact with smiles and nods and if using your hands feels natural, do that. Don’t overdo any gestures or hand movements, keep it simple and fluid.
Listen well and ask questions
Don’t be afraid to have a notebook and pen in front of you, taking notes whenever necessary. You could take mental notes too, but when it comes to posing questions to the interviewer at the end, you might forget. If you didn’t hear the question clearly, politely ask them to repeat it. Listen well and save all your questions for the end. The interviewer may not have covered things like work environment, benefits or a detailed job description, so ask away.
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