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Patrick David
Patrick David

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Zoom Interview Tips for 2021

Zoom interviews might be here to stay. Or at least any video interview or remote interview session. Getting familiar with the tips that are required to nail a remote interview is critical in ensuring that you increase your odds of getting an employment offer by the hiring manager.

Here are the ways to ensure that you have a fantastic Zoom job interview in the future.

What's a Zoom Interview?

A Zoom interview is similar to any other job interview. More similar to a face-to-face interview rather than a phone interview. A phone interview is an interview that qualifies the candidate for the position. While a Zoom interview replaces the need to have to be in the same geography in order to perform a job interview.

When being invited to a Zoom interview, consider this the formal job interview. It's often that a Zoom interview is requested when the hiring manager and interviewee cannot be in the same vicinity. Recently, Zoom interviews have gained popularity due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Have Talking Points Ready

Because it's a Zoom or skype interview doesn't mean anything different in terms of preparation than a traditional interview. Perform a mock interview (a practice interview) with friends or family members to better prepare answers to common job interview questions. And have "talking points" or questions to ask the interviewer prepared for the end of the call.

Be prepared to answer complicated questions like behavioral interview questions, which prompt storytelling and "on-the-job" experience from the candidate. Or questions like, "Why do you want to work here?"

Don't Use a Virtual Background

It might seem fun to use. But a virtual background where the candidate looks like they're sitting on a beach comes across as unprofessional. Use a professional background setting, like a home office.

Search for Good Lighting

A dark mysterious figure on the other end of the video call can feel scary and unprofessional. Be sure to find a place in the home, home office, or somewhere else that has good lighting. The objective is to make sure that when the live interview takes place, the candidate can be seen and the friendly expressions being made can be witnesses. It's about comfort.

Know Salary Requirements

A common interview question during the Zoom interview session is, “What are your salary expectations?” It’s best to have a prepared answer to this question. There are two methods for figuring out what your salary range should be. The first method is to take your current salary range and “give yourself a raise”. A typical raise is around 8% of your existing salary. That means you would take your current salary, add 8% and that would be the range of your salary expectations for the new job.

The second method is to use a tool like or, which both will help you to see the average salary range for not only the job you’re applying for but the geography you’re applying to as well.

This can be very helpful for those who are moving to a new geography and need to think about the cost of living and average salary as part of their salary negotiation for the position.

You can use both methods in combination as well. Simply take your existing salary and be sure you do the math to figure out what your relative scale is in the new geography and then add 8% to that giving you a range.

Try not to decide on an “exact figure” as this shows you’re not willing to be flexible on a salary offer. By showing a range, it means you’re willing to consider the entire compensation package as part of your benefits and compensation.

Prepare Ice Breaker Questions

Ice breaker questions are great ways to start a conversation. It allows the interviewer and hiring manager to connect on an informal subject matter before beginning the conversation and Zoom interview. It’s important to ask relevant ice breaker questions that make the hiring manager feel comfortable.

It’s important to tell the interviewer that an ice breaker question is being asked. It’s a fun, yet small game that can be played to create a connection.

Ask one of the following ice breaker questions:

  • What's the first job you ever had?
  • What's the best job you ever had?
  • What do you admire in a colleague?
  • What do you admire in a boss?
  • What's the worst trait you could imagine to have in a supervisor?
  • What's the best trait you could imagine to have in a supervisor?
  • What's the longest job you've ever had?
  • What motivates you in the morning before you start work?
  • What's the most important thing for us to remember at work?
  • What's a funny story about one of our customers?

If interviewing for a specific position, like a data analyst, be sure to prepare ice breaker questions that are relative to the interview, company, or job title.

Have the Personal Meeting ID Handy

When joining a Zoom conference call, the callers have to enter a personal meeting ID. This should be inside the calendar invitation the hiring manager and potential employer sent. Inside the scheduled interview invitation should be detailed instructions for joining the Zoom call. Be sure to have this handy so as a job seeker, you aren't late to the call.

Let the Interviewer Interrupt You

It’s best to let a hiring manager interrupt you if they have questions during the interview question response. By letting the manager interrupt you during the response, it can provide an opportunity to answer the interview question with more clarity. This can be especially helpful when answering with too long of responses. If the interviewer decides to jump in, let them.

Write a Thank You Email

When you’re finished with the interview, in the next 24 hours after the interview is completed, write an interview thank you email that shows the interviewer you appreciated them taking the time. Include a mention of any questions you might have regarding the role or interview process. In general, use this note as an opportunity to show your interest in the position and show you have a passion for being hired.

Find the best resource for thank-you notes on

About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Ladders, and many more..

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