Before 2020, the word zoom was used primarily in association with a witty marketing campaign from the early 2000s by automaker Mazda.
Now, Zoom has become a term ubiquitous with modern work-life and the day-to-day functions of a business—including interviews.
Interviews can be nerve-racking. With a new job on the line, like the many available at BioFire Defense, making a great impression over Zoom can make all the difference in whether you get the job or not.
As Liz Ryan of Forbes writes, it’s normal to be nervous before an interview, but that doesn’t mean it will go poorly. To help, here are some tips on how to make a great impression on a Zoom interview.
Use the mute button
One of the best features of Zoom is the mute button. Using this feature while the interviewer is speaking will eliminate background noise for the speaker, allowing them to think and speak more clearly. By providing a focused environment where the interviewer feels respected, you will be seen as courteous and mindful of those speaking and what they are saying.
Be in a well-lit room
If you’re on a Zoom interview, it’s partly because the interviewer wants to see you—so make sure they can! Be mindful of the lighting. Ideally, facing a window where the natural light will show your face clearly. Do not sit with a window, or the main source of light, to your back. This will cast shadows and will make your face appear obscured, says The Verge. They recommend having the natural light at no more than a 45-degree angle from your face.
Look into the camera
When you’re on a Zoom call, it can be hard to know where to look, especially in gallery mode. While you might think that directing your eyes to the person on the screen might make the most sense, it may not appear to the interviewer that you are looking at them.
Instead, train yourself to look at and speak to the camera on your computer. This trick will make it appear you are looking directly at the interviewer rather than elsewhere on the screen.
Make sure your space is quiet
When it comes to Zoom interviews or work-from-home calls in general, there are few things less professional than noise in the background. Whether it’s the dog running around, kids screaming, or the TV from the other room, it’s best to have a room available where you can shut the door and be free from distraction. This will allow you and the interview participants to focus on whoever is speaking, and be able to communicate free from distraction.
Use a computer—not your phone
While the Zoom app for your phone works well, it’s best to use your computer for meetings and interviews. The camera is usually better, and you will be able to see participants more clearly than if you were looking on your phone.
Be sure to place your computer on a steady surface, and avoid having it on your lap, or moved around during the interview. It is also ideal to raise your monitor so that the camera is at eye level, rather than something you look down at. (Not to mention it will flatter your face more from an eye-level angle!) If you need to raise your computer, USA Today recommends stacking some books under your monitor or laptop.
Make sure your computer is charged and updated
Making sure your computer is charged can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress. Having to go find your charger or restart the Zoom interview mid-conversation because your computer died reflects poor preparation on your end, and can be frustrating for all involved.
Also, make sure your computer, and the Zoom app, are updated before you start the interview. Most people don’t know why their Zoom or other similar apps crash, and often, it could be due to an outdated version of the program. Make sure you allow plenty of time before the interview to update your software and reduce the risk of issues.
Dressing professionally means different things to different companies, but for an interview, it’s always best practice to look your best,—even when you’re sitting in your basement.
Dressing well communicates your interest and that you are respectful of your interviewer’s time, who they are, and what they represent—and you’ll look sharp and memorable. Harvard Business Review did a survey and found most people actually do take notice and care about what you’re wearing and what your background looks like.
The survey results indicated a clean, plain background is far preferable to a fake or virtual background. Though it may go without saying, don’t let your background show your pile of laundry or stack of dirty dishes.
Have a good internet connection
When on a Zoom call, it’s not uncommon to have a person freeze or have their words lag when their internet connection is poor. If you want to make a great impression over Zoom, be sure to be somewhere where the connection is strong, and you won’t be competing with bandwidth.
If you’re looking for a job, and want to work at one of the leading biotech firms in the United States, BioFire Defense is hiring. On the forefront of developing the most accurate and rapid COVID-19 tests, as well as many other biotech applications, BioFire Defense is all about making the world safer, healthier, and better.
Check out their jobs and apply with them today, by clicking here.