Jordan Burns from the talent acquisition team at Simon Acres Group considers how best to approach a Zoom interview in order to make the right impression and secure that job.

A Zoom interview is like any other job interview. A vital part of the recruitment process but with the added complications of technology.  Not only do you have to be familiar with how to set up and the use the technology but you should be aware of some common pitfalls to ensure you make the right impression.

The first step to a successful Zoom interview is planning.  Make sure you have prepared and practiced, to avoid any unnecessary glitches with the technology or things that don’t work.

Take time to become familiar with the platform, be comfortable with it and understand the icons and controls.

The mute button is particularly useful.  You can use this to mute your audio if your interviewer is speaking for long periods.  This stops any distracting background noise from your end.  You may have prepared by letting other members of the household know but there is always the possibility of outside noise from builders, workmen, dogs barking or sirens.  These can be very distracting and break the flow of the interview.

The best way to ensure you will be in control is to test it out, arrange a mock interview with someone.  In this way you can also gain feedback on the quality of your camera and the sound.  Many devices have poor camera and microphones, so you may need to upgrade or buy additional equipment to improve the quality. Test your internet speed to ensure your connection will be stable.

Once you have dealt with the equipment and the software then turn your attention to your surroundings. Think carefully about the room and backdrop you choose. Make sure you are in a well-lit room, and think about what else could be in shot. A messy untidy room will not create the right impression.

Similarly, consider your clothing.  You would select an appropriate outfit for a face to face interview and this is still the case with Zoom. However, the camera can make a difference. Any brightly-coloured clothes or large jewellery will be even more distracting on Zoom.

Be attentive and engage with your interviewer. During your trial run, practice looking into the camera to maintain eye contact.  This will not be the same as looking at the image you have on the screen.

It is easy on Zoom to become distracted by things going on around you. Keep your focus on the screen when the interviewer is speaking and show them that you are actively listening. Do this by maintaining eye contact, and using body langue such as nodding. Remember to ask questions. Be seen to be engaging with the interviewer, taking notes where possible as they speak, and asking questions based on what they say.

Finally, don’t spend so much time thinking about the technology that you forget to prepare for the interview itself.  Remember to do your research into the company and think about the questions you may want to ask, and how to respond to those that will be asked of you.  Again, take time to practice this on Zoom and you will be relaxed and able to present the best version of yourself.

This guest blog was written by Jordan Burns, New Business Manager at Simon Acres Group