Zoom Interview: How To Get It Right The First Time

Do you have a first-time Zoom interview scheduled soon?

You're probably wondering what to expect with your virtual interview. With this being a new experience, you may be thinking "What should I wear?", "What questions will be asked?" and "How should I set up my video call?"

Don't feel overwhelmed by the unknown. A Zoom interview is nothing to fear. After this blog post, you'll feel confident and prepared to tackle your virtual interview head-on.

What is a Zoom interview?

Zoom is a cloud-based video calling software to meet online with others. It has recently been used by recruiters to carry out remote interviewing.

Mainly driven over the past year due to lockdowns and social distancing, virtual interviews have proven to be an enjoyable experience for both recruiters and candidates.

We are sure to see more variants of virtual interviewing becoming available as we standardise technology more and more into our recruitment processes.

Zoom works by the candidate and recruiter(s) joining into a live meeting all at the same time. They can communicate in real-time while being in their own remote locations.

How to prepare for a zoom interview

A Zoom interview should be viewed by the candidate in the same way as a traditional face-to-face interview. All with the exception of eliminating travelling preparation and replacing it with technological preparation.

In this blog post, we will focus mainly on the technological preparation of a Zoom interview, while addressing common Zoom interview related questions.

Best Zoom Interview Practices

1. Be ready to start early

Always be ready to go with the Zoom call a few minutes before the arranged time. This way you won't come into any unexpected technical difficulties that can disrupt or delay the interview. (Thus eating into your precious interview time, and wasting the recruiters time).

A great way to ensure this is to confirm the date and time before the day of your interview. Another great tip is to have the recruiters direct phone line on hand. This way if you do come across any technical issues you can call them right away.

2. Practice with the technology beforehand

Avoid a whole host of technological issues by practising your setup and equipment beforehand. Make sure you are comfortable with using Zoom and all the necessary features. Practice Zoom calls with friends or family before the big day to ensure your interview runs smoothly.

And make sure you are connected to the internet! If this fails, connect to your Zoom interview via your smartphone as a last resort.

3. Gather all your materials

Ensure your notes and interview materials are within reach while the Zoom interview is being carried out. Some things may include a glass of water, interview materials, resume, references, portfolio, interview notes and even interview questions.

To tone down the clutter you can put post-it notes with important points you want to cover and stick them on either side of your laptop/desktop.

4. Clean your interview space

Ensure your background and interview space is clutter-free and tidy. This will not only look more professional to your interviewers, but it will be a great benefit to your well-being and mental health.

According to thebalancecareers.com having a clutter-free space improves your decision-making ability.


Tech setup

Your laptop or desktop height

One of the most important things to think about in your Zoom interview setup is the positioning of your camera.

Most people have their laptops set up slightly below their face height, resulting in the camera facing up their noses! This is possibly the worst angle to position for your Zoom interview.

The best camera position is to have it facing straight on and at the same height as your eyes. Some thick books or some shoeboxes are going to be your best friend to get the height right.

Then practice your positioning on the screen.

Your head, shoulders and chest should appear in the frame. if any more body parts show you're probably too far away, and any less means you're too close to the camera.

Sound quality

For the clearest sound quality, you should wear a headset with a mic. This way, you'll hear interviewers' questions clearly so you won't repeatedly be asking them to repeat themselves again.

Also, your answers will be heard clearly too. It will eliminate distracting background noises and make listening to you clean and pleasant.

Your Zoom Username

Check your Zoom username prior to the interview!

If your username is set to an old nickname or something you set for a group meeting with friends, then ensure it's changed to your name. You should appear professional at all times, especially the first time your recruiters meet you on Zoom. First impressions are everything!

This goes for your email address too.

Charge or plug in your laptop!

Avoid cutting out during the interview by ensuring your laptop has a full charge. Ideally, you should keep it plugged in for the duration of the interview just to ensure you don't embarrassingly cut off mid-interview.

Tips for Background

The best type of background is to be plain, usually white with little background distractions.

If you can't find a plain wall to set up your Zoom interview in front of, then you can choose to use one of Zooms default background images to hide your space. However, a virtual background could be distracting to your recruiters and we wouldn't recommend using this unless your space is so bad you have no other option!

Tips for Lighting

Another great tip with setting up your interview space is to ensure you're facing a light source. This could be a window with natural light or even a bright lighting set-up. Just avoid having the light source come from behind you as you'll have a shadow over the front of you. Making it difficult for the recruiters to see you properly.

What to wear for a Zoom interview?

Before you decide to sit with only your upper half-dressed you should familiarise yourself with the video call fails of people getting exposed accidentally for wearing pj's or their undies on professional video calls.

Don't let that be you!

But before you panic about what to wear, the first thing you should do is to research the company culture.

Do they state their dress code publicly? Some companies are laid back with dress-down Fridays, and some have no professional dress code. However, if you're unsure your safe bet is to dress to impress.

Wear what you would usually wear to a job interview.

For some ideas on what colours are best to wear in an interview check out this post here: Best colours to wear for an online interview?

Remember to smile!!

Yes, you're on video with multiple people, so make sure you smile now and again! Luckily for you, you'll be able to see your reflection on the screen so be sure not to stare at yourself, but it may help to remind you to compose yourself in the most attractive way.

Smile, sit with a straight back, make eye contact (with the lens) and use your body language to communicate. This will make you more likeable and professional.


What Does Reworking Do Differently?

Reworking Video Interview Across Multiple Devices

Reworking Video Interview Across Multiple Devices

For recruiters looking to improve their virtual interview to something more professional then you should look to one-way video interview software.

Innovative remote interview software such as Reworking can vastly improve the interview process for both interviewer and candidate.

One-way video interview software doesn't require both recruiter and candidate to be available for a live video meeting at the same time.

Instead, candidates are sent a link to the Reworking interview app. Then they can record their interview answers on video at any time and any place. Then send it to the recruiter when they're done at their own convenience.

Both the candidates and recruiters benefit from this more innovative form of digital interviewing.

The video interviews are shorter, don't require scheduling times, can be recorded at the candidate's convenience and recruiters can view each applicant's interview at their own leisure.


For more video interview tips on what types of questions are asked in a virtual interview, see our blog post: Unique Interview Questions and Answers. You'll also get great advice on how best to answer the most likely video interview questions.

If you found this blog post helpful, please help us back by sharing it on your social media. Thank you! And we'll see you next time.

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