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How to master the art of the Zoom interview

How to master the art of the Zoom interview

How to master the art of the Zoom interview
January 30
17:23 2021

After running the marathon known as your undergraduate program, you’re going to want to put that degree to good use. Since most companies have required their employees to work at home, the interview process has gone through similar changes. Although face-to-face interviews bring their own pros and cons, conducting meetings and interviews through Zoom has been an art that has become essential to master.

1. Make sure your computer is charged and WiFi is up and running

No matter how much you have practiced or rehearsed for this moment, no matter how confident you are in acing this interview, a faulty internet connection or dead laptop can throw all of that out the window. Communication is essential when doing interviews, so you don’t want the bulk of the meeting to be constant soundchecks or remembering where you left your laptop charger. Although there are a ton of different elements to consider that are out of your control, you will want to do your part in making sure any mishap during the interview isn’t your fault.

2. Look into the camera instead of the screen while speaking

A major piece of advice for face-to-face interactions is to maintain consistent eye contact with the person you’re talking to. This is also the case when doing Zoom calls. It doesn’t help that modern-day laptop screens are bigger and brighter than ever and the front-facing camera often blends in with the base of the computer. Finding the webcam can feel like a scavenger hunt, only instead of looking for candy, you’re trying to impress employers so you can earn a stable income. You can add sticky notes around the camera to remind yourself of where your eyes need to. Every bit of help goes a long way in the interview process. Just make sure the interviewers don’t see your expletive-laden reminder to look into the camera.

3. Use the mute button when the interviewer is speaking

We have all been witnesses to countless awkward moments in Zoom meetings. Whether it’s music playing in the background, dogs incessantly barking or someone letting out a huge burp during a World War II lecture, the mute button is there to avoid such odd moments. You also don’t want to badger your interviewer with the instinctive “yeah” or “uh-huh” when they are asking questions. Interviews can be a high-stress situation for a lot of people, so it’s natural to think you have to input every few seconds. Not only do you let the interviewer say their piece, but you can also let yourself have a breather before moving on to the next question. Remember: the mute button is your friend and it asks for nothing in return.

4. Don’t fidget in your chair

As I said before, interviews can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, whether face-to-face or online. Interviewers have become seasoned veterans in noticing small and subtle mannerisms from their subjects, indicating whether or not the interviewee is truly confident in their abilities or simply giving anecdotes that look good on paper. Zoom interviews offer an even greater level of scrutiny since the camera captures every move and inflection you make, intended or not. If you have a chair that can swing or rotate, you might want to leave it to the side and get a normal dining chair that offers zero comfort or movement. It sounds barbaric but constantly swinging back and forth in a chair can give the interviewer a less-than-ideal first impression. No matter even if you crush the rest of the interview, changing a bad first impression is an uphill battle.

5. “Looking good, feeling good” – Dress up all the way

Presentation plays a huge role in how interviewers and potential employers perceive you. You only have one shot to make a good first impression and dressing up for an interview is a tried and true show of respect. Although your webcam will only capture your upper body, brace for all contingencies by dressing up all the way. It is unlikely, but you do not want to be caught wearing basketball shorts below your killer suit and blazer. Also, dressing to the nines can actually influence one’s psychological frame of mind, according to a study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology. “Enclothed cognition” can be a deciding factor in landing that dream job, so time to iron those dress pants.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Kevin Diaz

Kevin Diaz

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