Zoom interviews, the dos & don’ts

man attending a zoom interview

Zoom interviews, the dos & don’ts

Over the past 12 months I have received so much mixed feedback from hiring managers after completing zoom interviews. And in a lot of cases there are undoubtedly things candidates could have prepared better for to make the interview a more positive expereince and ultimately a better outcome. Here are a couple of things to prepare and keep in mind when scheduling zoom interviews. 


  • Try to avoid scheduling zoom interviews at a time where there’s potential for it to clash with something else. For example, you may have a maintenance person due or a delivery you need to sign for.  While almost every hiring manager will have no problem with this brief interruption, it does break the flow and if the interview is going well you don’t want anything to take from it. You wouldn’t get up and leave the interview room momentarily at the company’s office so why do it while on zoom. If it’s avoidable then try to avoid it. 


  • If you’re not used to doing video conferencing then I would suggest doing a trial run with someone prior to the interview. If you’re working with a recruiter  ask them to connect over zoom to make sure there are no technical issues. If the recruiter is worth their salt they will advise you on your positioning on camera, the audio quality, the background and maybe even what you’re wearing. 


  • And on that point I think it’s important to give proper consideration to what you wear. For example stripes and busy patterns on shirts often look poor over a video connection. 


  • Turn off notifications on your phone, tablet or laptop. Avoid distractions at all costs. Close or minimise the other windows on your screen.


  • If like me you have a dog hanging around your home office then they need to disappear for the duration of the interview. 


  • Speaking into headphones rather than laptop speakers is advised. You will pick up less background noise and limit the feedback that can occur with some laptop speakers. 


  • Be on time and always double check time, date and timezone.


  • If possible, use a laptop or desktop over a smartphone or tablet.


  • Take advantage of what the zoom interviews offer you which is that you can prepare right before the interview starts. You can be reviewing notes, use the loo, take a quick peek in the mirror . Basically all the things that aren’t as easy to do when you have to travel for an interview.


  • A lot of people recommend using cheat sheets or post-it notes to help guide you through the interview. I wouldn’t recommend that at all. Just prepare as you would for a normal interview and you will be a lot more relaxed knowing you put the work in.