January 13, 2023
5 min read
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom interviews have become more commonplace in the hiring world.
Zoom is simple to use, convenient, and easily accessible. Still, just like an in-person interview, you’ll want to make sure you’re confident and ready to go.
To prepare, here are the top 10 Zoom interview tips you should follow for a successful interview — all of which you can practice through the Yoodli AI public speaking tool. For more public speaking strategies, check out the free, available courses and tutorials online, such as how to track monologues and talk time on Zoom.
This is our No. 1 tip for a reason. Because Zoom is an online application that only functions when connected to the internet, a stable wi-fi connection is an absolute must. When traffic levels are high, chances are, you’ll experience audio and video that may cut in and out, which is not ideal for an interview. To avoid this, you’ll want to free up bandwidth by:
Also, make sure you take the interview in a spot where your wi-fi is the strongest.
In the workplace sphere, Zoom is the top video conferencing app. If you have a Zoom interview coming up, you should plan to get familiar with this software. Make sure you have the Zoom app downloaded in advance so you can spend some time exploring its features. From here, you’ll be able to test your computer’s camera and microphone, get familiar with the call options (like the mute button or closed captioning), and even explore the various background settings.
Because Zoom interviews depend so heavily on audio quality, make sure you’ve scoped out a nice, quiet environment for your call. Atmospheres like coffee shops or a particularly noisy room in your house aren’t great options. Many people prefer to take calls in their home office, for example. Make sure that whatever room you’re in, the door is closed.
If you live with others, tell them about your Zoom call in advance so you can ensure there won’t be any extra background noise.
Although this might not be the first thing you think of, your background matters. When you’re on a Zoom call, backgrounds that have shiny, brightly-colored decor or even a messy room can be distracting for the person interviewing you.
Even though the virtual backgrounds offered through Zoom can be fun, entertaining, and tempting to use, you need to focus on professionalism. The best background for a Zoom interview is a neutral setting, like a plain wall. Though it’s one of the simplest Zoom interview tips, it’s also one of the most overlooked.
Just like in an in-person interview, you need to be dressed professionally. Wearing pajamas or casual wear like sweatpants — even if you’ll be in your home — isn’t a good idea.
Appropriate Zoom interview attire can look different for everyone, but generally speaking, business casual and business formal are safe bets. It can also help to inquire about the company’s dress code so you can match it in your interview.
Arguably, one of Zoom’s best features is the mute button, and it’s also one of the most important Zoom interview tips on our list. As a general rule of thumb, make sure the mute button is on when you’re not talking. Although it might not seem that important, being muted while you’re not talking ensures that no additional background sounds or noise distracts you or the interviewer during your call. Just remember to unmute yourself when you plan on speaking — it’s easy to forget.
Just like in in-person interviews, making eye contact is huge. When you’re on a Zoom call, look right at your computer’s camera, which is at the very top, center of your screen. It’s easy to make the mistake of looking at your interviewer’s image on the screen instead. However, since you’ll be looking away from the camera, it’s as if you’re not making proper eye contact. Avoid the temptation of studying the interviewer’s face on the screen and instead focus on the small camera in front of you.
It’s normal to use filler words when speaking. Words and phrases like “um,” “uh,” “you know,” and “like” are especially common. Still, these filler words can distract from what you’re actually saying. To use less filler, think carefully about what you want to say and how you want to say it. It’s OK to take a pause before responding so you can gather your thoughts. This can cut down on filler words and get your point across clearly. For more guidance on how and when to pause, check out this Yoodli public speaking course on the power of pause:
Just like during in-person interviews, you’ll need to think about how you’re presenting yourself, including your body language. You should look calm, collected, and confident. Refrain from making faces or zoning out during the call. For a successful Zoom interview, positive body language — like nodding, smiling, and good eye contact — is a must. These good habits can show the interviewer that you’re an active, attentive listener. Practicing your facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language in a mirror can help you get an understanding of what positive body language looks like for you.
Zoom interviews aren’t always perfect. After all, online interviews rely on a solid wi-fi connection. If your interviewer’s audio starts to break up or if their video cuts out, don’t be afraid to let them know. Audio and video issues can happen and it’s best to be prepared for them.
If the audio or video does cut out, let them know what happened and politely ask them to repeat themselves. That way, you can be sure you didn’t miss an important piece of information. In the same vein, don’t panic if your interviewers let you know you’re cutting out. Try to problem solve and clearly repeat yourself. After all, these things happen. To further prepare, make sure you check out these commonly asked interview questions.
Put all these Zoom interview tips into practice through Yoodli’s free and simple-to-use AI tool. You’ll be able to get a better understanding of your body language, the filler words you use, and noninclusive language, among other insights.