The job market is a sh*t-show. There are +30M folks unemployed and I am still getting calls on a daily basis from folks that have been laid off or furloughed. From my perspective, the job market is not really improving. Yes, there are companies still hiring and definitely sectors growing, but this doesn’t mean that the overall job market has bounced back. Sorry (not sorry) for the doom and gloom.
So what does this mean for you, my favorite job seeker? Job interviews by Zoom – job interviews by WebEx – and job interviews by Google Meet are not going away. They are becoming SOP and I believe that the way we interview and hire is going to change, forever.
Given this new reality, I thought I’d share a few helpful hints to nail a Zoom job interview. Ready?
- Look at the green light, not the screen. I know this is hard, but what you really need to do is connect with the person on your screen. Talking directly to the green light will give the other person the impression that you are looking them in the eyes. And what creates a better connection than eye contact? <Nothing.>
- Do. Not. Yawn. I feel like I’ve seen the inside of waaay too many people’s mouths. I really do not want to count your fillings or feel like I need to give you advice on flossing. For goodness sake, please cover your mouth when you yawn or risk looking like a wide mouth bass.
- Always be prepared to be on camera. Full disclosure, this one happened to me. I was meeting with a client really early in the morning (like 7:00 am) and needed to screen share. The easiest way to do that is Zoom, right? So I share my meeting code and turn it on – but guess what? My camera is enabled to automatically start upon launch! OMG. I can’t even begin to tell you what my hair looked like. The moral of the story, is just like a boy scout, always be prepared and deliberately check your Zoom settings.
- Fidgeting is dangerous. Try not to fidget. Too much fidgeting can send the message that you are bored and disinterested. Even worse, do you really want to be recorded adjusting your clothes? My best advice is to treat Zoom just like an in-person interview. If you wouldn’t do it at a conference table, don’t do it on Zoom.
- Pay attention to what you wear. Your clothes matter. They send a message by Zoom just as they do in a traditional interview. So…don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to in an in-person meeting. Remember that horrid Zoom moment when my camera was on? I was wearing my favorite T-shirt, “Get Slothed.” (NOT the impression I was going for LOL. In my defense, sloths are my favorite animal. If I had a Patronus, it would certainly be a sloth.) Either way, this shirt is not meant for public consumption…
- Your background matters. I was talking with a client via Zoom and the spot that she had chosen in her home for the video call was in her kitchen. It was neat and tidy, so she had that going for her, but behind her head was a set of moose antlers. It looked exactly like she had Bullwinkel horns on her head during the call. Her head was framed perfectly. By antlers. (I kept expecting to see Rocky.) Just make sure that you are aware of what is happening behind your head!
Do you have any additional advice or pitfalls to avoid for Zoom job interviews? I’d love to hear them!