Tips for Interviewing on Teams or Zoom

It’s safe to say that most of us are now very familiar with using online video conferencing!  Zoom was a piece of software that most of us were not aware of until the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we moved our office environments into our homes.  Teams were groups of people to most of us and now we use the word interchangeable with Zoom and video conferencing, in a way none of us could have envisaged three years ago!

Recruiters could never have imagined the effect of completing entire hiring processes without never meeting a potential employee in person.

Hiring a person without meeting them??!!  Unimaginable!!

But, that’s exactly what has been happening and indeed, what is continuing to happen post pandemic.  It is a trend that continues as it is an efficient method which saves time and lowers our carbon footprint.

As this style of interview continues, here are some tips to help you perform well:

Ensure you have a reliable broadband connection long before the interview starts

Choose a location where you know the broadband is reliable, and ideally is linked to a wired fibre broadband.  Broadband connections based off mobile connections are not the connections to use for a video interview.

Make sure you will not be interrupted

If you’re doing the interview at home and other people live there, make sure nobody will interrupt you during your interview.  Ideally, do the interview when nobody is home to avoid background sounds interfering with the quality of your interview.  The location should be as close to a quiet, corporate office as possible.

Have a glass of water close to hand

Interviewing involves a lot of talking for the interviewee.  Pour a fresh glass of water before you start and set it close to you.  You will be speaking a lot during the interview and you don’t want a dry throat or cough to get in your way.  Your voice quality is more important in an online interview and being well hydrated will ensure that it’s excellent.

Wear a suit

Sometimes it can be assumed that an online interview doesn’t follow the same rules of attire as face to face.  They absolutely do.  It is vital that you wear a suit for your interview.  This online interview involves presenting yourself visually and you only have one chance to give that first impression.

Ensure you have adequate light in the room

Choose a location where you know the lighting is good.  Natural light is always best but if it’s a dull day or more shaded room, borrow a lamp from elsewhere and put it behind your laptop so that it shines on your face.  Don’t have light behind you as it will interview with the webcam and make it difficult for the interviewers to see you.

Check what is in your background before you start filming

The ideal is a neutral coloured wall, or as close to that as possible.  It might involve moving your table or desk around.  It’s worth it as it all aids your visual presentation.  Unnecessary background clutter doesn’t give the right impression and distracts from you and it’s you that they are interviewing!

Have your webcam at the same height as  your forehead so that your camera angle is optimal

We have all seen clips of people where we feel that we’re looking up at them from the floor.  Don’t be that person. Follow the guidelines of webcam level to forehead and the interviewers will feel as if they are directly across the desk from you.  It will also feel more natural and personable.

Make eye contact with the interviewers

This can be difficult to do.  As a guide, if you wish to make eye contact with the person asking, look at the webcam when you’re answering that piece.  The recipient will then feel there is eye contact.  To ease the intensity, look slightly above or below it to make you appear more relaxed.

Post-its in your eye line are helpful but not reams of paper

We all need encouragement at interview.  Maybe you need a reminder of a question you’d like to ask.  Maybe you need a reminder that you can do this.  Jot down brief words that are in your vision that will help you perform better.

Login to the call up to ten minutes before to ensure the links are working

Always log in early.  Never wait until the actual time.  That is when things go wrong or software upgrades commence.  Be there waiting.  It’s always best to be early for an interview, but never more than ten minutes.

If you’d like more information on any of these tips, feel free to contact us.  We’d love to help!