Many companies have decided to stay remote for the long term. In the United States, around 22% of the American workforce is expected to be working remotely by 2025. This means Zoom interviews will more than likely be a part of the hiring process. To help you prepare, we've cultivated this list of 9 tips that'll help you ace your Zoom interviews.
Before we delve into the tips, we want to stress the importance of practicing before your interviews. Practice is more important than ever before when interviewing over Zoom because it's easy to get thrown off your game in what may feel like an unnatural environment. Practicing ahead of time sets your mind at ease, makes it easier to remember important facts and processes, and gives you a chance to come up with an interview strategy.
Practicing for assignments and presentations
In some interviews, particularly those involving software development, coding, or other tech-related skills, you may get an assignment ahead of time. During the interview, you will have to present your solution. It's important to remember:
- The way you present your solution is as important as the solution itself. While preparing for your Zoom interview, ensure your thoughts are well-organized and presented in a straightforward, logical manner. Even someone without your depth of technical knowledge should be able to follow along.
- Practice your entire presentation from beginning to end. Then, hone in on spots where you feel things may not be 100% clear or make you a little nervous. Practice these parts repeatedly until you feel comfortable.
- While you don't have to memorize your material, you'll want to familiarize yourself with it enough to speak directly to your interviewer instead of reading from your notes.
- You don't have to look directly into your camera while giving your presentation. Practice looking at the faces of those you're presenting to. If possible, have a friend join you on Zoom for a practice session. Watch your audience's faces. If you see a puzzled look, it's OK to politely say, "Allow me to explain that again but from a different angle." In this way, your presentation changes dynamically according to your audience's reaction.
Practicing for whiteboard presentations
With a whiteboard presentation, you should focus on making your solution as clear and thorough as possible. To do this:
- Write down your solution and talk it through. In another we post, we explain why it's crucial to explain your approach during technical (or whiteboard) interviews.
- Don't be afraid to ask for clarification. Asking questions gives you time to gather your thoughts and can help you avoid misinterpreting the problem.
- If you're coding a solution and forget the proper syntax, don't make something up. Acknowledge that you forgot and put something else where the syntax would go. You're usually being tested on your problem-solving ability, not your ability to remember syntax.
9 Zoom interview tips to help you land the job
The 9 following tips are pulled from the video below, in which several of our team members with recruiting experience share some tips for performing well during Zoom interviews. Their suggestions range from tips that help you look the part, showcase your thinking abilities, and relax both yourself and the interviewer.
1. Ask questions
Asking questions is one of the best Zoom interview tips for several reasons:
- When you ask questions based on something the interviewer said, it shows you're actively listening.
- Asking questions gives you time to gather your thoughts.
- The right question can help you avoid critical miscommunications.
- After you ask a question, you can take a deep breath and calm down while the interviewer answers.
- Someone who asks questions comes across as inquisitive, thorough, and thoughtful — all of which are ideal qualities in a job candidate.
2. Dress the part
It's better to overdress than under-dress. Even though you may be working remotely and your "uniform" may often be your pajamas, you should dress as if you're going to the office. Ask your interviewer ahead of time about how to dress or look up the company's dress code. Then, while choosing your outfit, step it up a notch to ensure you come across like a professional.
3. Test the tech
Well beforehand, you should test the various Zoom features that may impact the success of your interview. These include:
- Screen sharing, including optimizing the screen share for video.
- How Zoom works with the bandwidth you have at home or where you're interviewing. If you have a poor connection, you may want to consider heading to a library or somewhere else with privacy, a relatively quiet ambiance, and sufficient bandwidth.
- Muting, if necessary.
- Using virtual backgrounds, if necessary.
4. Think about lighting
Using good lighting is one of the most important Zoom interview tips. You should ensure your face is lit so you can be clearly seen without unnecessary shadows. You can grab a simple influencer light setup for around $25 online, or you can use lamps on either side of your computer or device. Regardless of your setup, keep the following in mind:
- Position the light in front of your face, not behind or to the side.
- Get rid of or dim competing light sources, such as sunlight, overhead ceiling lights, or lamps.
- Avoid aiming the light in your eyes so you can maintain a natural look during the interview instead of squinting.
5. Turn off notifications
Notifications coming through your phone, laptop, or other devices can throw you off your game. Turn all notifications off. In some cases, you may want to set up automated responses so important contacts don't think you're ignoring their calls, texts, or emails.
Take deep breaths throughout the interview. This gets oxygen to your brain, which helps you think clearer and relax.
7. Talk about something personal
You can still make a personal connection during a Zoom interview. Share some information that fleshes you out as a person. If you're uncomfortable sharing personal details, you can lightheartedly acknowledge people or pets in adjacent rooms if they make noise. This shows you have a normal life outside of work.
Smiling relaxes both you and your interviewer. It also makes you look younger and happier, and it's contagious, often spreading your joy to the person you're talking to. Smiling also releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and alleviate nervousness.
9. Take notes
Taking notes helps you keep track of important things the interviewer mentions. Then, you can bring them up again later at the end of the interview to illustrate your attentiveness. Note-taking can also make it easier to gather and organize your thoughts in preparation for an answer.
With these Zoom interview tips, you can showcase your knowledge and skills while maintaining your composure. Now that you're ready to put your best foot forward, the next step is ensuring your skills are up to par.
We have a full catalog of programming courses designed to build and strengthen your knowledge and set you apart from other Zoom interview candidates. With our Career Paths, you can even create a comprehensive portfolio to showcase during your interviews.