What is a Zoom Interview?

Recently I posted an article on “How to Ace a Zoom Interview.” This time I want to answer a more basic but important question: “What is a Zoom Interview?”

Some common questions job seekers ask include the following:

What is a Zoom app?

According to Google, “Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local, desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online….” You can install Zoom on your desktop computer, tablet, or cell phone if you plan to use it regularly. However, if an employer has scheduled a Zoom job interview with you, you shouldn’t need to have Zoom already installed on your system. Just choose the download option and sign into the call.

What are the key differences between a person-to-person interview and a video interview?

person-to-person intervierwI touched on this point in my previous post; however, I will recap briefly.

First, I need to refer to the original question above: “What is a Zoom interview?” A Zoom interview is not an entertainment performance! Focus on what you know you need to communicate—your value to the prospective employer. All other factors must support that key goal.

Second, understand that you lose some advantages in a video interview versus a person-to-person interview, but you also get trade-offs. You can sometimes pull body language, voice, and energy cues from a face-to-face session that don’t come as easily via Zoom.

On the other hand, once you gain a certain comfort-level with Zoom, you can pick up some of the same cues as from an in-person interview. You simply need to pay attention–closely. Stay focused and don’t let your mind wander when the hiring manager asks interview questions you have to answer.

How do you stand out in a Zoom interview?

Work on your self-confidence! You will stand out better if you feel confident, not just try to act as if you are. Practice looking and sounding natural on camera. Get help from a friend or professional on video interviews if you need a boost on that.

Finally, know your stuff! Make sure you can communicate key value-added points in response to questions the interviewer asks—without overthinking or leaving an awkward pause.

How do you create a professional background from a home office?professional home office

The camera will include at least some of your physical background unless you use a suitable virtual one, so look at what shows. Furthermore, if the desk you normally sit at looks messy, tidy it or make sure it doesn’t appear on camera. Remove any items that look too personal (not businesslike) or that would tend to distract the interviewer’s attention. If you have pets or young children, find somewhere else for them to be during the interview.

What kind of interview questions should I consider as I prepare for the interview?

interview questions preparation

As I’ve said before, they’re much the same as you would expect from an in-person interview. Overall, the interviewer wants to know what you can do for the company if they hire you. However, he/she might also ask questions like the following:

  • Why are you looking for a job at this time?
  • How do you solve challenging problems?
  • What would you do if confronted by a hostile colleague?

How can I show that I am paying attention to the hiring manager during a phone interview?

Of course, phone interviews differ from Zoom interviews because you don’t have any visual cues or eye contact. You need to make comments showing that you are paying attention to what the hiring manager is saying. In addition, you want to ensure that your tone of voice suggests interest and enthusiasm for the conversation, the company, and the job.

Can you give me some Zoom interview tips?

Much of what I’ve already said could class as tips! However, here are a few pointers for you:

  • Make sure you feel confident and communicate that in the interview.
  • Use natural lighting if it’s easily available. Otherwise, find a good-quality source for artificial light.
  • Practice making your own body language professional and learn to watch the interviewer’s body language for clues.
  • Become familiar with the Zoom app before the interview date if possible.
  • Plan to sign on for the interview a few minutes before the scheduled time, just in case.zoom interview opportunity

So what is a Zoom interview? It’s an opportunity to share your value with a prospective employer, but with a few twists that an in-person interview might not have. It will test your ability to prepare and manage yourself under “remote” conditions.

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