Interviewing virtually brings benefits and challenges. It cuts out travel and often allows interviews to happen quicker, progressing recruitment processes much faster. But, if you’re preparing for an interview on Zoom (or another virtual platform) there are some pitfalls you really must avoid.

We’ve put together some tips for candidates:

  1. Get software ready - prepare in advance, don’t leave it to the day and risk getting stuck. Make sure you know the software you will need, download it and get practicing. Connect with a friend and check for sound and visual clarity and if you have a suitable mentor, ask them if you can rehearse with them too. Check you can screen share successfully whilst still being able to see your interviewer and all your relevant files are accessible to share quickly and easily.

  2. Record your prep sessions – it will give you areas to focus on - are you speaking too fast or fidgeting, is your camera set so you appear to be looking away? All these details will matter to you delivering a polished interview on the day. You can record your real interview too, which you can play back and use to identify where you did well or things that need work. It might also give you clues as to where you could follow up with more information, to give the interviewer a complete picture.

  3. Choose the right setting – either a plain wall or office space behind you. Make sure it appears professional and is free from distractions. Use a background if it helps – software like Zoom offers plenty of choice but you need to prepare by having an account and setting one up in your profile. Don’t try and do it last minute.

  4. Know how to mute – you never know what might happen, from a barking dog to a coughing spell, it is handy to be able to excuse yourself for a moment if required.

  5. Make sure your computer is as ready as you – we’ve known clients who’ve had their laptop fans go into full operation on a zoom call and it sounds like you are trapped in a wind tunnel. Close things down in the background, do all your updates, make sure you are fully charged and ideally make sure your laptop is cool and ready to go. Also, programmes left running can slowdown your audio performance and can create unwelcome alerts and interruptions.

  6. Be paper prepared – have a copy of your application and CV, any key notes and questions and a paper copy of your presentation or portfolio. If nothing else it re-assures you and can help calm the nerves to have physical prompts in front of you. Whilst it may be less nerve wracking than an in person interview, you still may experience a flutter or two.

  7. Treat it as you would an in person interview – being at home can give you a false sense of security, so make sure you turn up like you would in person and bring your professional self to the interview. Dress suitably, be alert and look ready.

We hope you found the tips useful. For information about our specialist CAD recruitment service, please get in touch.