Date posted: 5/11/2020 5 min read

10 tips for nailing a Zoom interview

Job interview on Zoom? Employment Hero’s Alex Hattingh explains how to ace it as an interviewer or interviewee.

In Brief

  • If you’re not familiar with Zoom, do a test run prior to the job interview and learn the features.
  • Avoid overhead lighting if you can, as it casts deep shadows under your eyes.
  • It can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen but be sure to make eye contact with the other person.

By Nina Hendy

1. Do a dry run

In this time of social distancing, job interviews on Zoom have become more common. If you’re not familiar with Zoom, do a test run with a friend or family member and learn the features. Do a soundcheck and position your camera so your face and upper body are in full frame. That way you’ll know how you look on screen before the interview.

2. Let there be light

Pull back the curtains. A good amount of natural light is flattering as it evenly accentuates your features and brightens your face. Avoid overhead lighting if you can, as it casts deep shadows under your eyes that may make you look haggard. And it's unkind on bald pates.

3. Dress for the occasion

Don’t just plonk down in front of the camera and hope for the best. Prepare by throwing on a blazer, necklace or collared shirt. Avoid activewear or tops with a brand name emblazoned across the chest.

10 tips for nailing a Zoom interview

4. Avoid nostril cam

No one wants to spend an entire interview looking up your nostrils. Make sure your screen is elevated so that you’re at virtual eye-to-eye level with the other person. You may have to place your device on a pile of books to get it to the right level.

5. Build rapport

It can be harder to build a rapport on a video call, so spend a little time having a brief conversation about the weather or your weekend before launching into the interview.

6. Make sure you’re present

It’s easy to get distracted on a video call. Ensure you’re fully present and give the other person your full attention. Essentially, treat it as if you’re sitting opposite the other person in real life

“It’s easy to get distracted on a video call. Ensure you’re fully present and give the other person your full attention.”
Alex Hattingh, Employment Hero

7. Address the panel

It can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen but be sure to make eye contact with the other person by looking at the light on your device’s camera. If you’re being interviewed by a panel, each person on the panel needs eye contact from you.

8. Don’t go off-topic

Video calls can be daunting and nerves are normal. That can cause people to deviate from the question. To stay on track, perhaps note down the question or ask if you have answered adequately to ensure you’re putting your best virtual foot forward.

9. Check your background

Skip the cheesy wallpaper backgrounds in an interview. You’re inviting people into your home, so use the opportunity to showcase a clean and clutter-free environment that injects some of your personality into the background.

10. Move on from glitches

We’ve all been caught with the microphone on mute or with the video not turned on. Apologise and ask for help, perhaps via the message tool, email or text. Don’t let it rattle you – just get on with the interview. 

Read more:

Public Speaking and How to Present on Zoom

This recorded CA ANZ webinar covers how to speak with confidence on Zoom and make a memorable presentation.

In Australia, go to bit.ly/zoom-skills-au

In New Zealand, go to bit.ly/zoom-skills-nz