Traditionally, interviews have always been conducted in-person and on-site at a location chosen by the hiring company. Today, remote interviews have become the norm. If you’ve applied for a job, it’s almost certain your interview process will include a video call.
This article brings you useful and actionable video interview tips (particularly for Zoom interviews) to help you prepare for and ace a Zoom interview.
To crack a technical interview, you must familiarize yourself with the different aspects of a video interview, especially a Zoom video interview. Zoom is one of the most popular video interviewing platforms for companies today. Our tips are specially curated to help you nail your video interview process.
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This guide will give you the best Zoom interview tips to help you with your performance during your next tech video interview and tell you what to do before and after your video interview.
- Why Are Zoom Interviews So Popular?
- Understanding the Difference Between Video Interviews and On-sites
- Zoom Interview Tips: How to Prepare for a Video Interview
- Zoom Interview Tips: What to Wear for a Video Interview
- Zoom Interview Tips to Remember During Your Video Interview
- FAQs on Zoom Video Interview Tips and How to Prepare for a Zoom Interview
Why Are Zoom Interviews So Popular?
Before we get into the tips, let’s first understand why companies are adopting Zoom interviews.
Video interviews, especially Zoom interviews, have become popular mainly because many companies, especially tech companies or those hiring for tech roles, have to hire en masse to fill in a large number of open positions. Video interviews work well in this scenario because:
Companies Can Widen Their Search
The rapid and widespread adoption of software and new technologies has spurred great demand for software engineers and other tech professionals across industries. Companies usually hire large teams for current and future requirements to meet demand.
It’s common knowledge that tech talent is in short supply, prompting recruiters to look for talent in geographically dispersed locations. On-site and in-person interviews are not always feasible in this context. Video interviews allow recruiters to access and assess talent remotely, helping them cast a wider hiring net.
Companies and Candidates Can Save Time and Money
Tech interviews usually involve multiple rounds of interviews, and with large numbers of candidates appearing for each stage of the interview, timelines can get stretched considerably.
Candidates also have to spend time and money to reach on-site for the different interview rounds. Video interviews help save a lot of time and expense in the early stages of hiring. They are often used to screen first-level applicants to filter candidates qualified to attend on-site interviews.
The Pandemic Forced the Change in Many Cases
The Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for many companies to continue on-site and in-person interviews, prompting interviewing processes to be conducted remotely, usually via video interviews.
Zoom interviews have become the preferred method for hiring managers and recruiters, especially at large tech companies like FAANG, where thousands of interviews are conducted annually.
Read more about how the pandemic revolutionized FAANG interviews.
Now, on to the top Zoom interview tips!
Zoom Interview Tips: Understanding the Difference Between Video Interviews and On-sites
Although there are other online interviewing tools and platforms available such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Facetime, Zoom has become one of the most widely used online video interview platforms since the start of the pandemic.
Zoom offers excellent connectivity and quality as well as effective collaborative features such as whiteboarding and screen-sharing for multiple users simultaneously. This makes it a great choice, especially for tech interviews, which involve writing code.
On-site interviews are usually conducted in person on company campuses or a common hiring location. This makes scheduling interviews challenging, as candidates have to travel from different locations. Some companies still prefer in-person interviews for seamless interaction, especially for technical interview rounds.
Video Interviews vs. On-site Interviews
Following are some key advantages of video interviews over on-site interviews:
- In-person interviews usually take place at a time convenient to the hiring company, whereas video interview schedules are more flexible, allowing you to pursue job opportunities without much disruption to your regular work schedule
- Video interviews allow you to interview with more companies and at different locations
- Hiring companies and job applicants can conduct or accommodate many interviews within a shorter time frame
- Video interviews save time and cost, enhance convenience, and the overall interview experience
- Video interviews enable recruiters to interview candidates at diverse, dispersed geographical locations, giving them access to a wider talent pool
The only drawback of video interviews is that interactions are reduced to audio with limited visual communication. Body language cannot be gauged, and at times, visuals are further restricted during screen sharing or using other applications and tools.
Interviewers and candidates are part of different physical environments. The onus of establishing a conducive interview environment lies on you. On the one hand, this can be challenging, while on the other, it allows you a greater degree of control and comfort.
Recommended Reading: How to Pitch Yourself as a Must-Hire at a FAANG Interview
Zoom Interview Tips: How to Prepare for a Video Interview
To succeed at a video interview, particularly a Zoom interview, it’s important to understand the nuances of this form of remote interviewing and prepare accordingly. This section brings you actionable video interview tips to help you enhance your interviewing skills and have a successful zoom video interview.
This section covers the top 10 video interview tips to help you prepare for a Zoom video interview. Your preparedness before the interview will set the stage for success.
Zoom Interview Tip #1: Choose the right device
Determine the equipment you’ll require for the interview — a laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone, or any other device on which you can comfortably give an interview. Also:
- Avoid system issues by ensuring your device is updated and contains all the required software, applications, and files needed for the video interview.
- Close unwanted windows and programs that could slow down your system or Zoom video or distract you during your video interview.
- Ensure the device is charged. Keep the charger at hand and ensure a plug point or charging port is available.
Zoom Interview Tip #2: Understand the tool and its features
If you don’t already have Zoom:
- Ensure Zoom is downloaded and installed on your chosen device and functioning correctly.
- Create a professional ID for your Zoom interview.
- Learn how to log in or join your Zoom interview using the link or meeting ID provided. (Check your email to ensure you’ve received log-in links and details before your video interview. If not, contact the recruiter to ensure you get the required information.)
Then, familiarize yourself with the various necessary aspects of the video interview software.
The Zoom video interview application features allow audio, visual, and textual interactions (chat). It also allows screen-sharing and options to mute or unmute yourself. Familiarize yourself with all the features you would possibly need to use during the interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #3: Test your Zoom application before the interview
Do a run-through of your Zoom video interview software to ensure it functions properly before the interview. Try a Zoom test meeting to test the audio, video, internet connection, and other features. Zoom Interview Tip #4: Establish a conducive video interview environment
When giving a video interview remotely from a location of your choice, ensure your surroundings are video interview-friendly:
- Ensure a strong, speedy, stable internet connection so that there is no lag during the interview.
- Eliminate all distractions that could potentially disrupt your video interview. Ensure you’re in a quiet place; ensure those around you don’t create noise or disturb you for the duration of your interview. Reschedule deliveries and find a way to ensure visitors are kept at bay. Also, ensure that there are no visual disturbances of people or pets moving about in the background.
- Choose an appropriate background. Avoid virtual backgrounds unless absolutely necessary. A wall or similarly neutral background makes for a professional setting.
- Ensure lighting is appropriate and enhances visibility for a video interview. Avoid lighting that can create a glare or be too dim to make your video appear dark.
Zoom Interview Tip #5: Schedule your interview at a convenient time
Consider where and when you will be giving your interview and choose an appropriate time if offered the choice. Don’t try to squeeze it in during a busy part of your day or when you know there will be a lot of activity around you.
Zoom Interview Tip #6: Understand the video interview process
Learn all you can about how the video interview will be conducted. Recruiters usually brief candidates about the process. However, clarify pertinent details. This includes:
Nature of the video interview
Understand which stage of the video interview process is scheduled for — an initial screening or the main interview. Also, understand what you will be assessed on and the type of interview questions you can expect.
This will help you understand how to prepare for your Zoom interview, including the type of questions you may be asked.
Number and duration of interview rounds
Tech interviews usually include a video interview for the initial phone screen process. This may comprise one or two rounds of interviews. Also, find out whether the entire interview process is to be conducted remotely via video interviews or only the initial stages.
Determine how long your video interview will last and if more video interviews will be scheduled to ensure you align your personal schedules with the interview schedule.
Location of the video interview
Generally, remote video interviews are conducted at a location of the candidate’s choice. However, in some cases, you may be required to attend the video interview at the hiring company’s campus while the interviewer logs in from a remote location. Or, you may be required to submit a pre-recorded interview answering predefined video interview questions.
Number of interviewers
Find out whether your interview will be conducted by one or multiple interviewers and, if possible, who the interviewers will be. This will help you effectively prepare for a Zoom interview since different interviewers may focus on different questions.
It can also help you practice how to address a panel of interviewers via different screens on a video interview.
Need for additional tools like whiteboards and online editors
Find out if the video interview call will involve problem-solving or coding to be done on a digital whiteboard, using an online editor, or even whether you may need pen and paper.
Most FAANG and top tech companies use problem-solving to test their software engineering candidates. You can read this article to find out why.
Zoom Interview Tip #7: Identify pain points and create backup plans
When preparing for a Zoom interview, remember to note all the things that could go wrong and plan for these eventualities. For example:
- How would you deal with a power outage or an interruption in your internet connection?
- How would you manage an emergency or a sudden distraction while solving a problem?
- How would you recover if you lost your train of thought either due to nerves or a technical interruption?
Recommended Reading: Dealing With Interview Anxiety
Zoom Interview Tip #8: Prepare questions for the interviewer
Remember to ask your interviewers questions at the end of the interview, just as you would at an in-person interview.
Some examples of the types of questions you can ask:
- What are your expectations from the person in this job position?
- What are the career opportunities for this position in the company?
- Are there training and workshop opportunities for employees seeking improvements?
Zoom Interview Tip #9: Practice mock interviews
When considering how to prepare for a Zoom interview, one of the best video interview tips is to practice interviewing before the actual interview. You can try a traditional face-to-face interview with a peer to get comfortable before the video interview. Alternatively, you can practice an actual video interview with a peer logging in via another device.
Practicing mock interviews simulating the actual interview experience and environment is one of the best Zoom interview tips for a successful interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #10: Block your calendar and set a reminder
Ensure you slot your interview on your calendar and set reminders for the day before and the day of your video interview. Schedule a reminder to signal that it’s time to prepare and get ready for your video interview.
Recommended Reading: How to Prepare for an Interview
Zoom Interview Tips — What to Wear for a Video Interview
Dressing up for a video interview is as important as dressing up for an in-person, on-site interview. Following are 5 great Zoom interview tips on what to wear:
Zoom Interview Tip #11: Dress professionally
While a video interview may be conducted from the comfort of your house or a private setting, remember that how you appear still makes an impression on the interviewer. A formal or semi-formal outfit is preferable to give the impression that you’re serious about the interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #12: Dress from head to toe and be well-groomed
Although your online visibility in a video interview may only be limited to your head and shoulders, ensure you dress as you would for a traditional interview. This will help you get into the right mind space for the interview (and avoid embarrassing goof-ups!)
A clean-shaven face or minimalistic makeup with neatly combed hair will help create a professional impression on a video interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #13: Dress comfortably
Ensure you’re dressed appropriately but comfortably to deliver a professional interview performance. Video interviews can still capture awkwardness from fidgeting with clothes that are too loose or discomfort from clothes that are too tight.
Zoom Interview Tip #14: Choose the right colors
Opt for neutral colors and outfits without noisy prints or distracting embellishments for a video interview. Similarly, opt for toned-down, minimalistic accessories and hair drawn away from the face, which is your key visual to interviewers.
For more detailed tips, read How to Dress for a Job Interview.
Zoom Interview Tips to Remember During Your Video Interview
Utilize these video interview tips to enhance your interview performance during your Zoom video interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #15: Keep your phone away and notifications off
Ensure your phone is on silent mode; better yet, that your phone is out of sight to avoid any unnecessary distractions from calls or notifications.
Turn off or mute notifications on your device to avoid distractions or interruptions during your video interview.
Zoom Interview Tip #16: Join a few minutes before the interview
Ensure you join your video interview a few minutes before the scheduled time. Use the extra time to collect yourself and ensure your audio and video are working and your camera is positioned correctly.
Zoom Interview Tip #17: Follow standard interview etiquette and protocol
Behave as you would during an on-site interview, save the physical gestures such as a handshake.
- Greet and thank the interviewer at the start and end of your interview
- Confirm that you can be heard and seen by the interviewer
- Be polite in all your interactions with the interviewer and recruiter
- If you’ve been kept waiting or there are technical issues, exhibit patience
- Wait until the interviewer has finished speaking before responding
Zoom Interview Tip #18: Choose the right screen size
Ensure you can see the interviewers clearly. If you’re interacting with a single interviewer, you may prefer to set the screen to full size. If you’re interacting with two or more interviewers, you may prefer a panel view, so they are all visible simultaneously.
Zoom Interview Tip #19: Speak clearly; enhance facial and body language cues
Ensure you speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard by the interviewer but not such that you appear to be yelling. Use the right tone and speed of speech to convey confidence. Conversing in a video interview can be unnerving; don’t ramble.
Although you’re not completely visible to the interviewer, use appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate effectively. Similarly, avoid negative body language such as slouching or squinting.
Look at the interviewer while responding to questions. A great video interview tip is to maintain eye contact by looking at the camera or the top of the screen.
Zoom Interview Tip #20: Talk your way through, especially when coding
When sharing your screen, or solving a problem on a whiteboard, editor, or paper, talk your way through the problem. Clearly explain your approach to the problem and ask clarifying questions. If you’re sharing your screen or presenting a visual, guide the interviewer through the process steps.
Zoom Interview Tip #21: Log off in an appropriate manner
Wait until the interview has come to a complete end with a clear sign-off from the interviewer. Enquire about the next stage of the interview and thank the interviewers for their time. Do not end the call abruptly.
Double-check to ensure you have completely logged off the video call and that the video interview has indeed ended.
These were the top Zoom interview tips. Try these useful video interview tips to help improve your video interview performance for your next tech interview.
Bonus tip! Analyze your interview performance soon after the video call. Going over your performance while it's still fresh in your mind will help you identify what went well and areas for improvement to refine and improve your next interview performance.
All the best!
FAQs on Zoom Video Interview Tips and How to Prepare for a Zoom Interview
Q1. What are some video interview tips on what not to do at a Zoom interview?
Some common mistakes to avoid at a Zoom interview are rambling, logging in past the scheduled time, and trying to get through the interview with poor connectivity.
Q2. What are some tips for answering Zoom interview questions?
Wait until the interviewer has completed the question before responding and speak clearly and confidently, maintaining eye contact.
Q3. What are the best tips to ace a Zoom video interview?
Understand the prospective role’s requirements and develop a solid, structured interview preparation plan focused on conceptual and working knowledge of required skills.
Q4. What are some top tips on what to wear on a Zoom video interview call?
Tips for dressing appropriately for a Zoom interview include dressing professionally and wearing neutral and minimalistic colors and styles.
Q5. What are some pre-recorded video interview tips for a job interview?
Here are some tips for pre-recorded video interviews: Follow the instructions given; Read and understand the questions carefully before responding; Keep your answers relevant and concise.
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