20 Zoom Interview Etiquettes & Tips

Zoom continues to grow in popularity as more companies explore remote work. It is a popular video meeting and conferencing platform.

To save time and resources, most companies would ask potential employees for a virtual interview via Zoom instead of having them come to the office.

If you have a Zoom interview, you need to prepare almost as much as you would for an in-person interview. In fact, there are some additional measures you must take since you’re dealing with technology.

This article will help you get ready and nail your next Zoom interview. Check out the 20 Zoom interview etiquettes & tips you should follow.

Zoom Interview Etiquettes & Tips

1. Be On Time

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It’s never a good idea to come to a job interview late. It’s no different with Zoom interviews. The interviewer won’t like sitting idly, looking at their computer screen, simply because you’re yet to show up.

Coming a minute late is enough for some impatient interviewers to log out and shut down their computers. You should be logged in 10 to 15 minutes before the interview starts. Keep the video running even if you’re not yet seated.

A common reason people turn up to Zoom meetings late is last-minute inconveniences. You can easily avoid this if you prepare ahead.

Another common reason is time zones. You and the interviewer may have different time zones, and you could miss the meeting if theirs is ahead of yours.

For example, their 2 p.m. may be your 3 p.m. If you log into your Zoom app by 3 p.m., you’ll be an hour late. Therefore, confirm the time zones between you and your interviewer, and ask questions about the time if you’re unsure.

Also Read: Zoom Call Etiquettes & Tips For Students

2. Use A Laptop

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Using a laptop or computer is more professional than using a mobile phone. If there’s any message you want to pass to the interviewer during your interview, it should be that you’re a professional.

Aside from that, the Zoom desktop app is more feature-rich than the mobile app. This is why most meetings, conferences, and high-attendance group chats are hosted using the desktop app.

You can only access Zoom’s full-range participant controls when you use the desktop app. These features can come in handy in making your interview a successful one.

With a mobile phone, you either hold it with one hand, which limits your body language, or place it on a stand, which may make communication difficult.

Most of the tech you need to conduct a successful Zoom meeting – microphone, speakers, etc. – work best with desktop devices than mobile devices.

Using a laptop or computer is also more relatable. If you get the job, you’d most likely be working with a laptop at the office and not a mobile phone.

3. Use A Well-lit And Quiet Room

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Many people love hiding behind the veils of Zoom virtual backgrounds. However, whether you use a virtual background or not, ensuring you’re in a well-lit room is essential.

The clearer your interviewer can see you, the better. Zoom does have many settings and customization options to digitally improve the lighting of your video – like editing a picture. However, nothing is better than natural lighting.

As a result, it’s better to set up your space around a window or other opening that brings in light. However, suppose this isn’t obtainable, especially because of noise from outside. In that case, you can use ring lights, which are now very popular.

It should be positioned directly opposite you so the light falls on your face. You can purchase good ring lights for as little as $6; you don’t need to go for the high-end ones.

Furthermore, the space you choose to hold your Zoom meeting should be quiet, free from noise and distractions.

4. Check Your Devices

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You need certain devices to ensure your Zoom interview is successful. Technical difficulties can happen anytime, and it’ll be embarrassing if they happen mid-way during your interview.

You can lessen the probability of such happening by checking your devices before your interview.

The primary device is your laptop or computer. Before your interview, check that your laptop is working properly and that the battery is fully charged.

Other devices you may use include a webcam, a headphone, speakers, and a mic. You also need to make sure that these are working properly. If you’ll be using a ring light, you should check it as well.

You should also check regular devices like your keyboard and mouse.

It’s ideal to inspect the devices a day before the interview. If any device has any technical issue, you will detect it on time so you can fix or replace it.

Also Read: Worst Job Interview Answers & What To Say Instead?

5. Check Your Internet Connection

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Using the internet with a poor connection is frustrating, and Zoom relies on your internet connection.

You can use WiFi, ethernet cable, or your phone’s cellular data. Whichever it is, ensure your connection is strong.

The interesting thing is that you can use Zoom with a slow internet connection. Zoom allows smooth video conferencing with an internet speed as low as 1.5 Mbps.

However, you don’t have to settle for that. You get the best experience with a faster internet connection, especially for a job interview.

Your interviewer would likely not be using a poor internet connection. Therefore, if your internet connection is poor, you may be able to connect, but the stream quality – audio and video – will be poor.

Zoom prioritizes audio over video; hence, the video quality will be worse in such a situation.

6. Drop The Virtual Backgrounds

Zoom virtual backgrounds aren’t bad, but they are fake. A background won’t be much noticeable in a group meeting or video conference. However, it’ll stand out in a one-on-one interview.

You’ll find thousands of virtual backgrounds on Zoom, but none can appear as natural as a real-life background. As a result, the virtual background could be a distraction.

If you’re applying for a virtual job, the interviewer may also want to see your working space. Using a virtual background makes this impossible, and it’s embarrassing if they should ask you to turn off the virtual background.

Furthermore, a messy real-life background can be distracting even if you hide behind a virtual background. You can set up your device behind a bookshelf or a plain wall.

7. Know When To Mute The Mic

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During your Zoom interview, your mute button is one of the features you’ll use the most. Generally, in a Zoom meeting, you should mute your microphone when someone else is speaking.

However, it’s different from an interview since it’s almost like a question and answer section.

Nevertheless, there are times when the interviewer would speak for a long time – when clarifying or explaining some work terms, for example. You should mute your mic during such times to avoid accidentally interrupting them.

You can mute and unmute your Zoom mic quickly, without the other person knowing. It’s possible using the keyboard shortcut: Alt + A if you use Windows, and Shift + Command + A, if you use a Mac.

You can also use the Mute button in the Zoom toolbar. Simply place your mouse icon there before the interview starts, so you can mute and unmute yourself with a single click.

8. Turn Off Notifications

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It’s unprofessional to be in an interview room, and then your phone rings or your beeps. The general rule is to turn off your device or put it in silent mode.

With a Zoom interview, you have your phone and your computer to deal with. Whether you’re using your phone or laptop for the interview, you should turn off all notifications so that nothing interrupts your video.

If your laptop or phone rings or beeps during your Zoom interview, the interviewer may not notice if your mic is on mute, for example. However, it could distract you, which the interviewer will notice.

You can put your phone on Do Not Disturb, for example. On the other hand, if you’re using a laptop, you can use the Focus Assist feature on most Windows devices.

Also Read: How To Respond To An Interview Request?

9. Let Others Know You’ll Be Having An Interview

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If you don’t stay alone, it’s crucial that you inform others that you’ll be having an interview. Tell them where and when you plan to have your interview so they won’t interrupt you.

Furthermore, inform them that they will have to keep the noise at a minimum. If you have kids, you can tell them not to come near the area where you’ll be interviewed.

Some people may want to check on you if the interview is prolonged. Inform them that they shouldn’t, and create a cue to let them know when you’re done.

Anything can happen at any time, so it’s possible for something to happen during your interview that needs your attention.

Inform others of the best way to communicate with you if such happens. They could send you an SMS, or knock lightly on the door a specific number of times, for example.

10. Clear Your Screen

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Similar to turning off all notifications, you must clear your screen. It’s best you have only your Zoom app open or your browser app – if you’re using the web app. There are multiple reasons for this.

First, it’ll help you to avoid interruptions and distractions. Another open app may interrupt your mic and headphones if it also uses them. They may even play sounds that will be noisy during your interview.

Secondly, it makes you appear professional if you need to share your screen. Suppose you want to show the interviewer a digital certificate or other documents, for example. In that case, you don’t want them to see too many open windows.

Third, it maximizes your internet connection. Almost every application nowadays uses the internet. You can ensure that Zoom alone uses your bandwidth by closing other apps.

11. Practice Ahead

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One reason why Zoom is the most popular video conferencing platform is that it’s easy to use. However, it would be advantageous if you practised before your Zoom interview.

It’s helpful if it’s your first time using Zoom, your first time taking an interview on Zoom, or perhaps you’re just not accustomed to the platform. It eases the tension during the main interview.

Practising ahead is also ideal to ensure that your devices and internet connection are working correctly.

You can practice by asking a friend to perform the role of the interviewer. You can source mock interview questions on the internet for them to ask you while you respond.

Afterward, your friend could give you feedback on how you perform. Notably, they can comment on your setup, audibility, posture, body language, and others.

12. Gather Your Materials

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The last thing you want to do after your interview begins is to get up from your seat. To avoid this, you should gather all the materials you may need during your interview and keep them on the same table as your laptop, within reach.

You may need to show a hardcopy resume, certificate, reference, portfolio, or ID. The interviewer can ask for any document that helps them evaluate your chances of getting the job.

If you’re interviewing for an international job, for example, the interviewer may even ask to see your international passport or other travel documents. Having all of these within reach will amplify your attention to detail.

Aside from work-related materials, you may also need other things to stay comfortable. For example, a water bottle if the interview is prolonged.

13. Dress Appropriately

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The job you’re being interviewed for will typically influence how you dress. Whichever job it is, you should dress appropriately.

An infamous mistake people make while on video calls is not wearing trousers or skirts. The interviewer won’t know whether you’re wearing pants, skirts, or not, but it’ll make you comfortable and confident.

An important aspect of dressing appropriately is selecting the perfect colors. The perfect color often depends on your background.

For example, you can’t attend the interview with a white shirt while your background is a white wall. The ideal color to wear in such a situation would be something dark.

Avoid wearing any type of distracting clothing. Ultimately, you should research the company culture and try to dress in a way that suits it.

14. Be Prepared

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Your Zoom interview may be virtual, but it’ll be as serious as an in-person interview. Your interviewer will be as meticulous as you can expect.

Hence, one of the most important etiquette tips for interviews, generally, is to come prepared. To make things simpler, research the company.

You should be knowledgeable about the company you want to join, the position you want to fill, and the responsibilities that come with it. Most interview questions come from these.

You’ll score extra points if you know about the company’s top achievements, competitors, and similar industry details.

Also, be prepared to defend yourself. Your interviewer will likely ask questions about why you believe you’re suitable for the job, your strengths & weaknesses, salary expectations, and work history.

15. Watch Your Body Language

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You should work on your screen body language to avoid passing the wrong message to the other person. Your body language could tell your interviewer that you’re unsettled, bored, or tired during the interview.

First, you should sit straight and slightly lean toward your laptop’s screen. You don’t want to slump as it’ll make you appear tired.

Second, avoid touching your face during the interview, especially when it’s your turn your speak. Touching your face could mean you’re unsure of what you’re saying or lying.

Third, you should smile – a lot. A smile is a symbol of confidence. It shows your interviewer that you’re comfortable, enthusiastic, and optimistic about your chances of joining the company.

Finally, don’t stay stagnant while the interviewer speaks. You can simply slightly nod your head to show that you’re following.

16. Look At The Camera

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Maintaining eye contact is an essential etiquette in interviews. However, if you want to maintain eye contact during a Zoom interview and you look at the computer screen, you’re getting it wrong.

The camera lens is the eyes during a virtual call, not the eyes of the interviewer on the screen. Therefore, at all times, while speaking or listening, look into the camera lens.

If you’re using a built-in webcam, your focus should be at the top of your monitor – where the webcam is usually installed.

On the other hand, if you’re using an external webcam, it’s also ideal to position it on top of your monitor. Your webcam must be at eye level, so you can maintain a good posture while in the interview.

17. Watch Your Tone

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Communication encompasses spoken words, tone of delivery, and body language. The tone of delivery is the most crucial, after body language. Generally, your voice tone will reflect how you are feeling.

It could tell your interviewer if you are feeling confident or not or if you are positive or negative.

Watching your tone is even more important since you’ll speak via a microphone. Your tone can get mixed up during transmission.

Generally, don’t rush. Speak slowly and clearly, so your interviewer can grab each word.

Make slow pauses after long sentences in case the interviewer may want to say something in-between; you wouldn’t want to interrupt them

18. Maintain A Conversation

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Your interview doesn’t have to be an interrogation or a question-and-answer session. You can increase your chances of getting the job by maintaining a conversation with your interviewer.

As you exchange pleasantries at the start of the interview, there’s nothing wrong with commenting on something nice in the interviewer’s background.

You can easily turn your interview into a conversation by adding more life to your responses. Rather than give two or three-word answers, you can add some more relevant details.

Adding more lines to your responses will show that you are relaxed and knowledgeable about the questions. It’s one of the reasons why you should come prepared.

However, you shouldn’t try to be informal. Also, don’t interrupt the interviewer in the name of holding a conversation.

19. Ask Questions

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Your interviewer will ask most of the questions. However, there’ll also be time for you to ask them questions. You should ask them questions to learn more about what is expected of you in the company.

It’s ideal if you prepare questions before the interview. Alternatively, you can take note of some specifics mentioned by the interviewer during the interview and craft your questions from there.

Once again, this will show the interviewer that you pay attention to detail and are willing to learn more about what you don’t know.

20. Follow Up Afterward

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You should follow up on your job interview by reaching out to your interviewer afterward. It’s the same thing you would do if it were an in-person interview.

Companies often have complex hiring processes; sometimes, it could take days before they reach a decision.

To show your interviewer that you are interested in the job, you should reach out to them at most 24 hours after your interview if there’s no response from them.

You can do this with a simple email, thanking the employer for the interview opportunity and that you look forward to hearing from them.

Don’t fail to highlight the job position you were interviewed for and the interview date. This simple action could spike the employer’s interest in your interview.

Bottom Line

In many ways, a Zoom interview is similar to an in-person interview. Not seeing your interviewer face-to-face might lessen the tension, but you still need to be prepared and ready.

The etiquette tips discussed above will go a long way in helping you do that.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.