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What's the first step to preparing for a Zoom Interview? Put on pants. I know you've seen the hilarious videos on social media platforms of someone's cat spilling their coffee on their keyboard as the person frantically tries to clean up the mess forgetting that they're on camera without their pants. Entertaining! but not a good look if you want to be taken seriously - and, mitigate the possibility of becoming an internet meme. In all seriousness, having proper attire will put you in a professional mindset, keep you focused, and help you approach the candidate with confidence.
Now that we have the obvious out of the way, let's dive into some tips on how to prepare for a Zoom interview:
1. Familiarize yourself with the platform:
Most HR teams are very tech-savvy, but if you're not, it's essential to spend some time getting familiar with Zoom before you begin using it for interviews. Practice joining and hosting meetings, using tools like interview intelligence software, taking notes, and scoring candidates based on their responses to your questions.
2. Make sure your technology is up to par:
Test your internet connection, microphone (or Bluetooth headphones), and camera beforehand to avoid any technical difficulties during the interview.
3. Come prepared:
Have their resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, and any other profiles you will need ready before you join the interview. Come with a list of virtual interview questions and answers ready so you can easily reference them if needed. If you don't have a list of Zoom interview questions and answers, chat with someone from our team as we have a library of more than 1000 to choose from. And, they can be added to your screenings and interviews with just a few clicks.
4. Find a quiet and well-lit space:
Choose a location where there are minimal distractions and make sure the lighting is good, so the candidate can clearly see you. Avoid sitting in front of a window or having too much light behind you as it may cause glare on your screen.
5. Dress professionally:
As mentioned earlier, dressing professionally is crucial for any interview. It shows that you take the opportunity seriously and are ready to put your best foot forward.
6. Test your audio and video settings:
Before the interview begins, make sure your audio and video settings are functioning properly. You don't want to waste time fixing technical issues during the interview.
7. Be mindful of body language:
Non-verbal communication can be just as important as verbal communication, so be aware of how you're presenting yourself on camera. Sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and avoid fidgeting or distractions like checking your phone.
8. Have a backup plan:
Technology can be unpredictable, so have a backup plan in case something goes wrong during the interview. This could be having a phone number on hand to call the candidate or rescheduling for another time.
With these tips, you'll never be unprepared for a Zoom interview again. Now, let's take a look at an example of how to conduct a Zoom interview.
To give you an idea of what a successful virtual interview example looks like, here's an example of a Zoom interview with a potential candidate for a sales position:
The candidate, James, has submitted his resume through our company's website and was selected for a virtual interview due to his qualifications and experience. The interviewer is Shaina from the HR team.
Interviewer: Hello! Thank you for joining us for this virtual interview. Can you hear and see me clearly?
Candidate: Yes, everything looks and sounds good on my end.
Interviewer: Great! I'm Shaina and before we get started, I'd like to give you a quick summary of our hiring process so you know what to expect. Today's screening is a super low-pressure conversation where we're going to spend 5- 10 minutes getting to know each other and reviewing your experience. We'll then go into the role and spend 10 minutes or so talking about it, the company's expectations, and how your specific experience may be beneficial. And, finally, we'll close with 5- 10 minutes for you to ask questions and talk about the next steps if we both agree to proceed - Sound good?
Candidate: Yes, sounds great!
Interviewer: Perfect, let's get started then! (Role Summary) So we're hiring for an Account Executive (or AE) position, which is a sales role. Can you tell me about your previous sales experience?
Candidate: Absolutely! I've been in sales for the past 5 years, working my way up from an entry-level position to a senior account manager. I have experience with both B2B and B2C sales and have consistently exceeded my targets.
Interviewer: Impressive! Can you give me an example of a particularly challenging sale you closed and how you overcame any obstacles?
Candidate: Yes, there was one prospect who was hesitant to purchase our product due to budget constraints. I took the time to understand their needs, showed them the value of our product, and offered a flexible payment plan that ultimately sealed the deal.
Interviewer: That's great to hear. Now, let's talk about our company. What do you know about us and why are you interested in this role?
Candidate: I've done some research on your company and I'm impressed by your growth and reputation in the industry. I also have a strong interest in the product itself and believe my experience aligns well with the responsibilities of the AE position.
Interviewer: That's fantastic to hear. Do you have any questions for me about the role or our company?
Candidate: Yes, can you tell me more about the team I'll be working with and the training opportunities available for this role?
Interviewer: Of course, we have a diverse and supportive team that works together closely. As for training, we offer continuous learning opportunities and have a mentorship program in place for new hires.
Candidate: That's great to hear! Thank you for answering my questions.
Interviewer: It was my pleasure. Before we wrap up, do you have any final thoughts or anything else you'd like to share with us... (next steps, and close).
As you can see we've highly summarized this online interview script to make it easier to consume but as you can see, this Zoom interview example is a great way to get to know a potential candidate and assess their qualifications for the role. Zoom interview example questions don't look much different from the questions you'll be asking in an in-person interview, so don't be intimidated by the virtual aspect.
In the first section, we talked a bit about what to wear for a Zoom interview, what we didn't mention was the virtual interview background. Zoom interview backgrounds are important as they give the candidate a first impression of you and your professionalism. Make sure the background is clean, tidy, and professional-looking. Avoid having any distracting objects in the frame or anything that could be considered inappropriate.
One of the best backgrounds I've seen was a realistic photo of the company's office, with branding in the background. This feels professional, yet welcoming and gives the candidate a sense of what it's like to work at the company. An additional benefit of this type of background is its simplicity. An office wall rarely has more than basic company branding, accents, or text in the form of mission statements, quotes, or company values, so you don't have to worry about potential distractions.
Another tip is to make sure your background isn't too cluttered or busy. This can be distracting for both you and the candidate. If possible, choose a contrasting-colored wall as your background or use one of Zoom's virtual backgrounds that offer a variety of settings like an office, accent wall, or beach. The reason to choose a highly contrasted color is that Zoom's facial recognition feature will be far more effective if the background is distinct from your face, hair, and clothing tone.
To conclude, remember to prepare yourself for a Zoom interview by having a backup plan, dressing professionally, preparing questions in advance, and setting up a clean and professional-looking background. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to conduct successful virtual interviews with ease.
To access additional interviewing tips or to try Pillar's interview intelligence software for yourself, visit the Zoom Marketplace or book your demo to connect with a member of our team. We are dedicated to helping you make better hires at a lower cost! Happy hiring!