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15+ Top Video Zoom Interviews Tips to Stand Out in 2022

More and more job interviews are being conducted virtually. And the tool of choice for many employers is Zoom, a video platform that powers meetings, webinars, and online events. Stay tuned for our top Zoom job interview tips.

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If you're job hunting in 2022, chances are that you may face one or more Zoom interviews. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Doing a job interview on Zoom can be both good and bad. It’s easier for everyone concerned. No travel is necessary, which makes it faster and less expensive. And it’s less nerve-racking than in-person interviews.

But it’s harder to communicate through a computer monitor. You don’t get as much body language and non-verbal cues, which means it’s easier for miscommunication to happen. 

Most importantly, Zoom interviews require you to have the proper technology:

  • a computer or laptop capable of video streaming
  • a webcam
  • microphone
  • a fast and reliable internet connection.

You must meet Zoom’s system requirements for the interview to go smoothly.

Also, you can get more job interviews by creating impressive marketing materials for your job hunt. Envato Elements has thousands of templates for cover letters and resumes that'll help you stand out among the competition. One flat subscription grants you unlimited downloads. Or if you prefer to pay for each use, then GraphicRiver is a terrific source of resume templates. These premium templates are designed for ease of use and customization for any job application.

In this tutorial, we’ll give you top Zoom interview tips to help you ace your next virtual interview. (And if your virtual interview is taking place over Microsoft Team meetings or Google meets, don’t worry. Many of these tips apply to any web conferencing platform.) You can also review the additional tips in the tutorial below:

15+ Zoom Interview Tips

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Adequate preparation will increase your confidence and effectiveness during a Zoom interview. (Image source: Envato Elements)

A job interview is stressful enough without the added complexity of worrying about web conferencing technology. With these job interview tips for Zoom, you can be sure you’ve covered all the bases.

But don’t worry. You're about to learn how to nail a Zoom interview. If you keep the following tips in mind, you can maximize your chances of giving a successful job interview through Zoom.

Preparation

“We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” - Thomas A. Edison

You've got an opportunity—the job interview—now combine it with preparation and create your own good fortune. Here are the best ways to prepare for an interview on Zoom.

1. Create Your Own Zoom Account

If you don’t have one already, go ahead and create your own Zoom account. It’s completely free to do so. 

Why do you need your own Zoom account? You can certainly join any Zoom meeting without having your own account. But when you do, you can leverage your account to project a more professional image. That’s because when you join an interview through Zoom, your profile information is visible to the meeting host and participants, including your:

  • Name. Use the same name as what’s on your job application form.
  • Profile picture. Upload a professional-looking headshot or profile image. 
  • Email address. Use the same one you used on your resume and cover letter.

Without your own Zoom account, you may or may not be able to set up all these things after you’ve joined an interview on Zoom. It would depend on the host’s meeting settings. But even if you could, you certainly wouldn’t want to be doing all that and keep the interviewer waiting!

2. Get Comfortable With Zoom

Another benefit of having your own Zoom account is you can host your own meetings. If you’re not familiar with Zoom, go ahead and have practice interviews on Zoom. Know the basics of using Zoom, such as how to:

  • Mute and unmute yourself.
  • Change your audio and video settings.
  • Test your speaker and microphone.
  • Start and stop your video.
  • Select a camera.
  • Change the video settings.
  • Use the chat.
  • Switch to different views.
  • Share your screen.

You’ll also need practice meetings to carry out some of the other tips that follow.

3. Choose a Private, Distraction-Free Location

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A coffeeshop isn't the ideal location for a Zoom job interview. (Image source: Envato Elements)

Where you've your Zoom interview is important. Don’t go to a coffee shop for your interview; it’s too noisy and public. Instead, choose a location that meets the following criteria:

  • Private, so you don’t feel self-conscious during your interview.
  • Distraction-free and quiet, so you can focus and listen.
  • Provides natural lighting, so you look good (more on this below).
  • Has good internet connection, either wired or through Wi-Fi, so you've got a smooth virtual meeting.

The ideal location for your Zoom interview is a room with a door you can close and a big window that lets in plenty of natural light in front of you.

4. Set Up a Suitable Background

Once you’ve chosen a room for your Zoom interview, the next thing to do is to set up a suitable background. This is the environment that people will see during your interview on Zoom. It’s important that the space reflects well on you without distracting the interviewer’s attention away from you. 

If your room has a clutter-free corner, then you might be all set. Otherwise, you’ll have to create your own stage. If at all possible, choose a background with the following features:

  • a clean wall with little or no distracting elements (no beds please!)
  • allows you to sit a few feet away from the wall (otherwise, you can look hemmed in)
  • personal items that reflect your personality or interests (but without calling too much attention to themselves)
  • a soft, supplemental light to give more depth and warmth

This might sound like a lot, but it really doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, here’s my background:

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Set up an uncluttered background that reflects your personality without being distracting.

Now you might be wondering, “But Zoom has a Virtual Background feature. Why don’t I just use that?” 

It’s certainly tempting to use a Virtual Background during an interview through Zoom. It’s easy. You get to choose the perfect background. And it can even be fun. But a Virtual Background isn’t the best choice for a Zoom job interview for several reasons:

  • You look like you’re hiding something. In this case, it might be true. You might be hiding a messy bedroom or cluttered living room. No matter how innocuous it may be, you’ll still look suspicious to the interviewer. Why hurt your credibility like that?
  • It doesn’t look good. Unless you've got a green screen behind you and the right lighting, the Virtual Background will look fake. Take a look at my Virtual Background below.
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Using a Virtual Background can hurt your credibility.

See how I look fuzzy around the edges? It looks unprofessional and it’s distracting. And it's even worse when you move. See how parts of my hair and face get cut off?

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A Zoom Virtual Background looks even worse when you move.
  • It’s fake. Because of issues above, everyone knows when you’re using a Virtual Background. It’s disingenuous when you want to come across as authentic and credible.

Host a practice interview on Zoom to see what your background looks like, and adjust it accordingly. Take a screenshot of your Zoom “stage” so you can easily recreate it before your interview.

5. Make Sure You Look And Sound Your Best

Record a practice interview on Zoom and evaluate how you look and sound. You’ll want your video and audio to be as clear as possible. If you've got a fairly new computer or laptop, it probably comes with a built-in webcam and microphone. These may be adequate.

But if not, then consider investing in a USB microphone, webcam, and lighting. These are now quite affordable. They’re a worthwhile investment for your job hunt and for the rest of your life since virtual meetings have become so common.

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Zoom interview tip: Do not sit with a window behind you because you'll appear like a silhouette. (Image source: Envato Elements)

You may be wondering if you need artificial lighting when your room has adequate natural light. That may be the case, but you don’t know if, on the day of your interview, it'll be a cloudy or gloomy day. Having artificial lighting gives you complete control of your video quality. Even the best webcam doesn't perform well if you're not well lit.

6. Raise the Camera

If you’re using your laptop, a common mistake is to leave it on the table. This means the webcam is below your eye level. This is a mistake because this angle is very unflattering. It emphasizes double chins, eye-bags, and jowls. And it makes the interviewer look up your nostrils.

Here’s an easy fix: Grab a set of books or a box and place your laptop on top of it. Aim to get the webcam to the level of your eyes or even a couple of inches higher. Instantly, you'll look slimmer and younger!

If you're using a desktop computer, you're in luck. The built-in webcam is usually at the ideal height.

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Having the webcam at eye level or slightly higher is the most flattering. (Image source: Envato Elements)

7. Confirm Interview Details

Now that you've got your tech and location all in place, make sure you don’t miss the actual interview. Most employers will send you a Zoom meeting invitation with the pertinent details. Double- and triple-check to make sure you've got the following details correct:

  • date
  • time in your time zone
  • zoom link

Enter this into your calendar and set up notifications so you don’t forget. Give yourself at least one hour before the interview to set up your equipment and background, make yourself presentable, and get centered before you hit that Zoom link.

It goes without saying that you’ll do all the other things you need to do to prepare for the job interview, such as preparing your answers to the most common interview questions. Need more job interview tips? These articles can help:

Nail The Zoom Interview 

“Think big about who you are and what you offer the world.” - Michael Port in Steal the Show

It’s the day of your interview! You’ve already prepared well by following the previous steps. You still have a few more last-hour details to take care of.

8. Dress Appropriately

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Dress appropriately—don't forget your lower half! (Image source: Envato Elements)

A common mistake job candidates make is taking the Zoom video interview less seriously than an in-person interview. This can cost you that coveted job! Instead, treat it the same way you would a face-to-face interview and dress accordingly. Even if you’re applying to a casual tech company, it doesn’t hurt to be slightly over-dressed for the occasion. 

And don’t forget to wear a complete outfit. No pajamas or shorts on your bottom half! You never know if you'll have to stand up in the middle of your video interview and show your lower body.

Besides, when you’re dressed well, you feel more confident, and this is one situation when you need all the confidence you can muster.

9. Eliminate All Distractions

Put phones on silent mode. Make sure children and pets are supervised by someone else. Alert everyone in your home so they know to keep quiet and to not disturb you unless:

  1. The house is on fire.
  2. Someone’s dying.

10. Ensure the Best Internet Connection

Fire up your computer, open your web browser, and run an internet speed test. For the best experience, Zoom recommends a bandwidth of 600kbps (up/down) for 1:1 video calls and 1.0 Mbps/600kbps (up/down) for group video calls.

If your internet connection isn’t up to speed, try the following:

  • Close all other applications on your computer or laptop.
  • Make sure nobody else is on the same network (and streaming videos on it!).
  • If you’re on WiFi, connect to the internet via an ethernet cable.
  • Use your phone as a WiFi hotspot and see if it’s faster.
  • Move to a different location. This is the last resort because you’ll have to quickly set up a background again, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

11. Manage Your Nerves

It’s normal to feel just as nervous during a video interview as you would in a face-to-face interview. You can do several things to ease the nerves. The following are easy and effective:

  • Do a power pose. American social scientist and author, Amy Cuddy, has found that just two minutes of doing a power pose is enough to cause hormone changes that make you more assertive, confident, and comfortable. Pick from one of five power poses and do it right before the interview starts (while you're off-camera, of course!).
  • Breathe slowly. Anxiety makes you take quick, shallow breaths. Counteract this by purposefully taking slow, deep breaths. The best part is you can do this and nobody will notice.

12. Log In Early

About 10 minutes before the appointed time, log into your Zoom account on your web browser, and then click on the meeting link from the Zoom invite. Why 10 minutes?

  1. This gives you time to download and install the latest version of Zoom if there’s an upgrade (and Zoom upgrades all the time).
  2. It gives you time to test your audio and video while waiting for the host to start the meeting. You’ll go into the interview with much more confidence when you know you look and sound good.

With that said, don’t log in too early. The host might be using the same meeting room for other meetings, and you might inadvertently crash someone else’s interview.

The following tips are for after the video interview has begun.

13. Look at the Camera

It’s counter-intuitive but you must strive to look into your webcam, not the computer screen. This gives the effect of making eye contact with the interviewer. They’ll feel that you’re truly listening to them. It makes it easier for you to create rapport with them.

Like in face-to-face conversations, you don’t want to “stare” at them. And besides, you also want to look at your computer to gauge the interviewer’s facial reactions to what you’re saying and other non-verbal cues . 

“You should hold eye contact between 50%–70% of the time.” - Erin Eatough, PhD, occupational health psychologist 

This means you can look into the camera about half of the time, and then glance at the screen the rest of the time.

14. Engage With Body Language

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Sit up straight and lean forward to show alertness and interest. (Image source: Envato Elements)

While limited, it’s still possible to use body language purposefully to enhance your message and increase your confidence. In her book, Career Confidence Instruction Manual, Peggy McKee recommends different ways to project and feel more confident during a job interview:

  • smile
  • don’t fidget
  • sit up straight
  • lean slightly forward

“You may feel silly doing it, but you need to know what you are projecting to others with your body language, because it has such a big impact on how they deal with you—whether or not they agree with you, move forward with you, or hire you.” - Peggy McKee, career coach, recruiter, and author

15. Use Your Notes

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Lay out your notes in front of you so you don't have to shuffle papers. (Image soruce: Envato Elements)

One advantage of a Zoom interview over an in-person interview is you get to have all your notes with you. It’s like taking an open-book test. Make sure you've got the following in front of you:

  • job description
  • cover letter
  • resume
  • bullet points of stories, examples, and results you want to mention
  • questions for the interviewer

Spread them out on the table so you don’t have to shuffle papers to find what you need.

What to Do If Things Go Wrong

“Sometimes, thinking on your feet can be the most creative. Constrained circumstances can bring the best out of you.” - Sir Cameron Mackintosh, British theatrical producer

Even with the best preparations and well-laid plans, some things still can and often do go wrong. Expect and be ready for anything:

  • your internet cutting out
  • someone barging into the room
  • a power outage
  • aliens landing on your front yard

... anything else crazy like that!

If something does go wrong:

  • Stay calm. This is the perfect opportunity to show a potential employer that you can think on your feet and keep your head cool and your wits about you even in an emergency.
  • Control what you can. Don’t sweat what you cannot control and do something about what you can. Ask for a couple of minutes to adjust your settings, replace your mic and/or camera, switch your internet connection to your cellphone hotspot, or deal with an emergency.
  • Reschedule. If worse comes to worst, ask to reschedule the interview. This is better than trucking on with a poor interviewing experience. I once interviewed a candidate whose audio was malfunctioning. We didn’t hire them. In hindsight, we should’ve rescheduled.

Create Impressive Job Hunting Materials With Envato Elements

If you’re not getting all the job interviews you want, it could be because your job hunting materials aren’t as polished as they need to be. You don’t have to be a designer—or to hire one—to create your own impressive materials. 

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A professional resume can help you land more job interviews.

Go to Envato Elements to find professionally-designed cover letter and resume templates for your job hunt. For one small subscription fee, you get unlimited downloads of templates, fonts, photos, and more.

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Premium resume templates can help you land more job interviews.

If you prefer to pay for each resume template you use, then search in GraphicRiver. Either way, premium resume templates usually come packaged with a cover letter template for a coherent look. And the standout designs make your application unique and distinctive.

With resumes like these, don’t be surprised if you get more job interviews!

Nail those Zoom Job Interviews

Giving interviews via Zoom is a necessity in today’s job market. In this article, we’ve given you all the Zoom interview tips you need to outshine other job candidates. Not only will you look and sound good, but you’ll also feel more confident. Your overall presence during the interview will help you get closer to your dream job.

It all begins with creating outstanding career marketing materials. Using resume templates and other creative assets with unlimited downloads from Envato Elements facilitates this. Or if you only need the one-off resume template, look to GraphicRiver for resume and cover letter templates on a pay-per-use basis.

Job hunting is stressful enough as it is. Take some of the load off by using Elements templates and following the video interviewing tips above.

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