5 Pointers to Ace that Zoom Interview
With colleges and universities across Canada and the U.S. extending their remote learning mandates for all classes, it’s likely that this year’s graduates will find themselves going through the job interview process virtually as well. This is especially true for those companies or organizations who require multiple rounds of interviews where the screening or initial rounds are done remotely for time efficiency.
While some may automatically think that online job interviews are less challenging than in-person ones, both scenarios require the same preparation and commitment to win over the interview panel. In this article, we’ll provide sure fire tips on how to have a successful online interview that would help launch your dream career.
Let’s get started!
Dress for the job.
Sure, your class instructors in past semesters probably didn’t flinch every time you showed up to the online classes in your sweats, but your interviewers may not be as forgiving. So remember, just because it’s a remote job interview, it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t dress for it like you would if it were a face-to-face interview. Dressing appropriately from head to toe will make a lot of difference in how you present yourself and give you that much-needed confidence during the interview. Be sure to keep your hair neat and away from your face. If you have the chance, have it styled professionally or make a quick trip to the salon. Your interviewer will appreciate the efforts you’ve made and you’re guaranteed to make a good first impression.
Make eye contact.
Online interviews make this suggestion a bit more difficult than usual, but not impossible. In a Zoom interview, be sure to opt for the gallery view so you have everyone visible on your screen and it makes it easier to look directly at the camera and at the individuals who are interviewing you. With an in-person interview, when you first reply to the question, ideally, you look directly at the person who asked the question, and then look at the others as you go through your response. In an online interview, what you can do, is acknowledge the person who posed the query by mentioning their name and then continue with your response. This will show you’re paying attention and you’re completely engaged with the interview process.
Create a professional environment.
Your choice in where to have the interview may be limited to your own room (where you can block off everyone else’s access for the time being) or accessible rooms like the living room or the dining room. However, this doesn’t mean that a professional environment is not doable. If you can only do it in an accessible room, have open communication with the people who live with you and tell them to make themselves as scarce as they can during your interview schedule. Choose a spot in that area where you feel most comfortable where the background is something you can regularly see in offices, like a landscape painting or a series of vases.
Practice online interview etiquette.
If you have to do the interview in a common area, be sure to quickly click on the mute button if someone accidentally walks by and asks you a question. Politely say you’re doing an interview instead of shutting them down completely. If there are background noises, like a dog barking, click on the mute button if it’s not your turn to speak. This way, you’re minimizing the distraction caused by the background noises. In the same way, don’t be scared to speak out if you’re unable to hear the interviewers’ questions clearly. A simple and polite request to repeat the questions being asked will go a long way, instead of trying to answer something that you only half understood.
Do your research.
Whether it’s online or face-to-face, doing your research prior to the interview is a must. Learn about the company beforehand by reading through their website. Go through the careers page and absorb the details of the job description of the position you’re applying for as much as you can. A good gauge on learning more about a company or organization is through their social media, as those accounts are updated regularly. If you can mention something that recently went on their pages, like a fundraising event, during your interview, it will score you points with your interviewers.
An online job interview may seem constraining at first, but it’s still actually a great opportunity for you to connect with your interviewers and get a feel of the work environment. Consider the suggestions above and you’ll increase your chances of landing the job you have in mind.
Indeed. “18 Tips for Succeeding During Your Zoom Interview.” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/zoom-interview
Marcellus, Sibile. “The worst mistake you can make on a Zoom job interview: ‘It’s the first thing that occurs and it never goes well’.” Yahoo! Finance. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-on-a-zoom-job-interview-its-the-first-thing-that-occurs-and-it-never-goes-well-215400975.html
Study International. “As the Omicron variant hits US and Canada, universities move to virtual learning once more.” https://www.studyinternational.com/news/omicron-variant-us-and-canada/