How to Nail Your Zoom Interview

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I’ve had the pleasure (or misfortune…) of being interviewed hundreds of times. In my time as a student, going through university applications. When I was 12 years old and got my first job delivering papers. On to a job as a mechanic’s assistant, and then another one flat packing boxes in a factory. Even today, as an agency owner, I’m interviewed all the time by clients who may want to use Pearl Lemon’s services.

I’ve also spent a lot of time on the other end – conducting literally hundreds of interviews with candidates interested in joining our company. 

Of course, here we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and 99% of these types of interviews (maybe 100%) are being conducted via Zoom. But Zoom interviews aren’t new to me. We’re a totally remote company, and have been from the beginning. Video meetings and video interviews have just been a way of life for us.

First of all, I’d like to underline a couple of aspects of interviews that are critical regardless of whether it’s via Zoom or being done face-to-face. 

  1. Know the company you’re interviewing with. Know who founded the company, and when they founded it. Know how many offices the company has, and in what locations. Read a recent news report about the company. Understand its values. If you don’t know these things, you won’t stand out as a candidate.
  2. Know the role you’re interviewing for and how it relates to the company’s overall business. How is the role important to the company’s future? What’s commercially important to the company, and how does that relate to the role? What does the role involve on a day-to-day basis, and how does it connect with the department as well as other parts of the wider organization?
  3. Know the interviewer, as much as you can. Who are they? What does their LinkedIn profile have to say? What’s their background?

The above three points will give you a good foundation going into the interview, and will help you craft your “pitch”. This knowledge will also help you answer the qualitative questions you’ll be asked. Things like:

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*Describe a time when…

*How would you cope with x?

*When was the last time you…

*What’s your favorite…

*What’s your biggest weakness?

Think about these kinds of questions and have answers prepared for them.

Be prepared to use numbers. Numbers are incredible – they can transform perceptions and points of view and opinions, because they help you communicate a story that’s backed up with statistical facts. Numbers communicate a sense of gravitas, and a sense of authority – you’re someone in the know.

Here are some critical tips specific to Zoom interviews:

*Make absolutely sure the area you’re calling in from is well lit.

*Have a decent HD camera – they’re not expensive.

*Make sure your background is free from distractions.

*Conduct the interview from as quiet a location as possible.

*SMILE! From the beginning, from the moment you turn your camera on, have a smile on your face.

*You need to exaggerate things slightly when you’re on camera. It’s infinitely more difficult to pick out verbal and physical nuances, so you have to exaggerate your expressiveness through things like shoulder movements and they way you use your hands when you talk.

*Pay attention to your tonality – the pace and pitch you’re using.

Being honest, I rarely meet someone who knocks their Zoom interview out of the park. So doing so can really help you stand out. 

Execute on these tips, and you’re well on your way to nailing your Zoom interview. Good luck!