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Team VODIUMJun 19, 2023 8:00:00 AM6 min read

How to Ace a Zoom Interview: Tips, Tricks, and Things to Avoid

In an increasingly digital era, more and more employers are opting for virtual interviews. According to a recent survey carried out by Indeed, 82% of employers use virtual interviews today and 93% of employers plan to continue using them. 

While interviewing from the comfort of your own home might be vastly more convenient than traveling to a new location, don't let the casual setting fool you — acing a virtual Zoom interview is just as challenging (if not more) as a face-to-face one. 

This article is the ultimate guide to mastering your virtual interview game. Let’s explore some Zoom interview tips, tricks, and things to avoid as you prepare to wow your interviewer and land that dream job. 

How to ace a Zoom interview 

Keep in mind the following tips to ensure you enter the Zoom call promptly, professionally, and well-prepared: 

Check your equipment in advance

Imagine the scene — you've practiced dozens of interview questions, researched the company inside out, crafted a perfect resume, and you're all set to impress your potential employer. But as soon as the interview starts, your audio is on mute, your camera is blurry, and your screen freezes like a cheesy 90s sitcom. Talk about a tech catastrophe! 

While all of these technical elements malfunctioning simultaneously might be unlikely, you can help ensure your interview runs smoothly by taking a few minutes to check your equipment in advance. This could be as simple as:

  • Checking the audio of your microphone and speakers
  • Testing your internet connection 
  • Fixing the camera so it captures you at the best angle 
  • Checking if Zoom loads correctly on your device

You can also join a Zoom test meeting to confirm whether the necessary equipment is working and familiarize yourself with the interface. Performing this simple yet necessary task can not only show how well prepared you are to your employer but it can also minimize the risk of technical mishaps. 

Choose your environment wisely (or consider a virtual background)

While it might be tempting to hope your interviewer won’t catch a glimpse of the messy space behind you, your Zoom interview background can make or break your virtual impression. Using a clean, minimal background — or items that reflect your profession, such as books, equipment, or art — can provide an instant visual cue to your interviewer that you are organized, professional, and ready for the interview. 

What’s more, keeping your environment clutter-free can also help minimize any potential distractions, leaving your interviewer free to focus on you and your skills.

A fast and easy way to upgrade your Zoom interview background is by selecting a virtual background. With just a few clicks, you can transport yourself to a sleek office space, a plain, serene beach, or one with plenty of greenery. Take a few moments to set the stage for success and choose a background that reflects your professionalism and personality. 

To choose a Zoom background, all you have to do is:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client
  2. Click your profile picture, then click Settings
  3. Select Backgrounds & Filters
  4. Click on an image or video to select the desired virtual background
  5. Add your image by clicking the plus sign and choosing if you want to upload an image or a       video

Dress for success

When it comes to what to wear for a virtual Zoom interview, a basic rule is to simply dress as though you were attending an in-person interview — professional attire is still the way to go. 

Dress as if you were walking into the office and make sure your clothing is neat, pressed, and wrinkle-free. It’s important to wear clothes that are appropriate and not overly distracting. Avoid wearing bright colors, busy patterns, or large jewelry that can be distracting on camera. Make sure your hair is neatly styled and keep makeup minimal — avoid any dramatic looks or eye-catching sparkles! 

Formal wear can not only act as a confidence booster, but it can also show your potential employer that you mean business. Overall, aim to ensure your Zoom interview attire is professional as well as appropriate for the specific role you’re interviewing for. 

Have your resume and notes to hand 

Having your documents and notes handy can be a game-changer during your Zoom interview. You don't want to be caught fumbling through your files or frantically searching for that one impressive stat while your interviewer waits. So, arm yourself with your resume, cover letter, and any other essential documents so you’re well prepared for whatever questions your interviewer throws at you. 

Investing in a top-notch teleprompter app like VODIUM allows you to have your notes to hand without having to switch tabs or glance down at written notes. View your notes in an overlay over the Zoom interview, and access them as you need — without breaking eye contact! 

Things to avoid during a Zoom interview

As with an in-person interview, there are a few red flags you don’t want to be giving your interviewer. Avoid making the following interview faux pas:

Showing up to the interview late 

Punctuality is key — even for virtual interviews. 

Showing up late to a Zoom interview can set the wrong tone right from the start, giving an impression of you as unprofessional, disorganized, and disrespectful of your interviewer's time. Plus, it can throw off your rhythm and leave you feeling frazzled and flustered, which can negatively impact your performance during the interview. 

Joining an interview a few minutes early can not only help you calm your nerves but also show your employer that you value their time as much as yours. This can set the right tone for the interview from the get-go and even push the hiring decision in your favor. 

Not having a question to ask your interviewer 

Asking questions during a Zoom interview is not only encouraged, but it's also a must-do. It's not just the interviewer's job to ask all the questions — it's your opportunity to show your genuine interest and engagement in the role and the company. 

Failing to ask questions can also hurt your chances of being hired because it makes you come across as disinterested, unprepared, or lacking in curiosity. Asking questions not only keeps the conversation flowing but also lets the employer see you beyond just a resume with paper-based qualifications. You can create a list of questions to ask before the interview and if it’s too much to remember, you can always use a teleprompter app like VODIUM to display them on your screen. 

Now, you might be thinking, "But what if my questions are already answered during the interview?" Well, that's where active listening comes in. Pay close attention to the interviewer's responses and use them as an opportunity to dive deeper or seek clarification. Don't just ask questions for the sake of asking — make them relevant and thoughtful. It's your chance to stand out from other candidates and show that you're genuinely invested in the opportunity.

Not treating a Zoom interview as seriously as an in-person interview  

Just because you're not physically present in the same room as your interviewer doesn't mean you can slack off on your preparation. Research the company, the role, and the interviewers, just like you would for an in-person interview. Practice your answers to common interview questions and be ready to articulate your skills and experience clearly.

It’s also important to learn how to use essential features in Zoom such as muting your microphone, switching your video camera on, and sharing your screen. 

Interview with confidence with VODIUM 

Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, virtual interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, just like any activity, investing time and effort can help you master the art of virtual interviews. Harnessing the power of advanced technology can also make this process as easy as possible. 

To learn more about how you can nail that next virtual interview, or to start your free trial of VODIUM’s teleprompter, check out VODIUM today!