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.
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:
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.
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 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!
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.
Following are some key advantages of video interviews over on-site interviews:
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
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.
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:
If you don’t already have Zoom:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When preparing for a Zoom interview, remember to note all the things that could go wrong and plan for these eventualities. For example:
Recommended Reading: Dealing With Interview Anxiety
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:
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Utilize these video interview tips to enhance your interview performance during your Zoom video interview.
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.
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.
Behave as you would during an on-site interview, save the physical gestures such as a handshake.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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