Don't turn your interview into a blooper reel!
Job interviews can be rough. Job interviews via video conferencing software such as Zoom can be even tougher. We've compiled a list of several dos and don'ts for your next Zoom interview to help you make a good impression, get the job you want, ruthlessly chase down your dreams, and avoid becoming a wacky lunch story at your would-be workplace.
Do: Pick the Right Background
Your background's first and foremost job is to avoid doing harm. When choosing a background, try to avoid the Three Bs: beds, bathrooms, and Bob Dylan merchandise. Conversely, well-lit dining rooms and bookcases are usually a safe pick, although the Bookcase Credibility Twitter has identified some potential pitfalls.
Don't: Move the Camera Around
It's helpful to do a test run with your video call software beforehand. Once you've found an arrangement that works, try your best to keep it that way. As much as shakey cam footage works for indie horror, giving your prospective employers a motion sickness-inducing tour of your home can distract from the actual content of your interview. For this reason, it's helpful to try and mount your webcam on something that won't move. If you absolutely must use a phone, try to put it down in a place where you don't think it will move.
Do: Dress for the Part
Even though you won't be physically meeting your interviewers, dressing well is still an important way to make a good impression. You don't have to break out the bespoke Armani tuxedo, but it's important to treat this as a professional opportunity with your clothing. While the limited-edition Power Rangers: Mystic Force pajama shirt might fill you with that certain mid-2006 sense of confidence, remember that it's unlikely everyone else in the interview will appreciate you repping the 4th best Power Rangers series.
Don't: Completely Turn Your Camera Off
We get it, being on camera can be an awkward and uncomfortable experience. It's hard to come across an energetic and sociable when you're not in physical proximity to any of the people that you're talking to. That said, turning your camera off mid-interview can be flat-out unnerving for your interviewers. There are good odds that they've been doing meetings on camera all day or are fitting your interview into a busy schedule. "Unnerving" is one of those adjectives that shares a spot with "visually musty" and "tonally similar to Bob Dylan" on the list of adjectives you don't want to be associated with a job interview.
Do: Disable Self View
Staring at our reflections is a natural human impulse, and a potential cause of death for both mythological Greek heroes and job interviews. Succeed where Narcissus failed and disable your self-view so that you can direct your attention to the camera. It's all too easy to get stuck looking at your own face and missing the chance to show off the energy or perspective that you bring to the table. Nip this one in the bud so that you can direct your focus to the people you're trying to impress.
Don't: Allow Unexpected Guests
This rule can have a huge impact on your ability to keep the interview focused. Sure, your perpetually sunbathing roommate might want a chance to show off his washboard abs to a group of internet strangers, but nothing derails a professional opportunity faster than having your interview suddenly switch focus to another person. The same principle applies to pets: your dog might be really cute, but this interview is about you.
Can you think of any other important dos or don'ts for Zoom interviews? Sound off in the comments!