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Zoom Calls: What to Do When You’ve Got a Job Interview

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By Susan Hoffman
Managing Editor

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are rethinking their jobs and work-life balance, often choosing to seek new opportunities. However, pursuing a new career commonly requires several rounds of interviews by phone, Skype or onsite at an office.

Zoom video conferencing software, which has grown in popularity since the pandemic restrictions began in March 2020, is an additional tool that employers use for job candidates. However, interviewing on Zoom and creating a good impression during a job interview requires some planning and preparation.  

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt of The Balance Careers offers these tips for job applicants using Zoom for their interviews:

  1. Come to the Zoom call a few minutes early.
  2. Test your Zoom technology before the interview.
  3. Have your resume and other reference materials nearby.
  4. Wear professional clothing that is appropriate to the company culture.
  5. Ensure that the background visible to your interviewers is tidy.
  6. Avoid fidgeting, straightening your clothing or performing other nervous habits while you’re on camera.
  7. Practice active listening so that your interview feels like a true conversation, not an interrogation.

Looking Good during a Zoom Interview Takes Practice

It’s also a good idea to practice using Zoom ahead of time. Ask a family member or friend to evaluate how you appear on camera. For instance:

  1. Are you sitting too close or too far from the camera lens?
  2. Can your face be clearly seen without any shadows? Consider the position of your light source – ideally, it should be above or beside you, not behind you.
  3. Are you looking directly at the camera lens so that your eyes don’t appear downcast?
  4. Is there any distracting glare from jewelry or eyeglasses?
  5. Is there any distracting noise from pets, young children or nearby construction projects?
  6. Are you speaking slowly and clearly?
  7. Do you sound interested and excited when you’re talking?
  8. Are you sitting up straight?
  9. Have you turned off all notifications and closed other software programs so that they won’t pop up during your Zoom call?
  10. Is the background behind you free of clutter?
  11. Are you wearing clothing that helps you stand out from your background? For instance, you may not want to wear a white shirt if the wall behind you is also white.

Don’t Forget the Standard Prep Work for an Interview

Prior to an interview by Zoom – or any interview – be sure to learn everything you can about the company. Read over the company’s website and its postings on social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Ask your network if they can introduce you to people who have worked for the company in the past to get an impression of the company culture.

Contact Career Services for Help

If you are a current AMU/APU student or alumni, Career Services provides a variety of free services, including:

  • Mock interviews
  • Career coaching
  • Resume reviews
  • Virtual Career Fairs
  • LinkedIn profile reviews

For more information, email Career Services or visit your ecampus.

Susan Hoffman is a Managing Editor at APU Edge, whose articles have appeared in multiple publications. Susan is known for her expertise in blogging, social media, SEO, and content analytics, and she is also a book reviewer for Military History magazine. She has a B.A. cum laude in English from James Madison University and an undergraduate certificate in electronic commerce from American Public University.

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