How to shine in a Zoom Interview

How to shine in a Zoom Interview

Hiring managers have adapted with speed to the new realities of social distancing and have moved from face to face to online interviews. To excel in virtual interviews, it’s important to realise that they’re a different beast. This new form of interview requires adapting your style in order to make them work effectively for you.

Here are 6 tips to help you maximise your presence in virtual interviews and to make that vital connection with the hiring manager.

Position of the camera 

Preparation is critical. Ideally your screen should be 75-90 cm away from you so that your face and upper torso can be seen. To maximise your presence, the interviewer should be able to see read your body language. Using your full faculty of expression will help them forget that you’re not in the same physical space.

Time of day

When you’re deciding on where to position your laptop, bear in mind the time of day your meeting is scheduled for and your light source. Make sure that you’re not cast in shadows and that the light doesn’t fluctuate with the movement of the sun.

Stand Out

Remember, virtual interviews are 2D. To help create depth and to avoid fading into the background, wear something that creates a contrast.

Set the scene – first impressions count

Be mindful of your background. Cluttered rooms will make you seem disorganised. Distracting elements will pull attention away from you. Find a space where the background is simple, reflecting your professionalism.

Engage with the interview panel

It’s easy when doing a virtual interview to forget that you’re speaking to a real person. Creating a rapport is even more important on line as subtle eye and body movements may not be picked up. Smile, use your body language and tone of voice to create warmth and make that vital connection. Doing stretches or indeed going for a walk before the interview can help, as this will increase your energy levels and project dynamism.

Check your software before the interview

Familiarise yourself with the software being used – Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Skype. They’re all slightly different and being familiar with their settings can give you more control. For example in zoom you can hide your self-cam (which can be distracting), or choose gallery view to allow you view all participants on the screen at the same time.


As it’s likely that virtual interviews will become a permanent feature of the recruitment process, adapting your style will help position yourself as a strong and adaptable communicator – someone who can flex and embrace change.

About the author

Laura is a qualified executive coach, EMCC Certified with over 20 years’ experience in executive search and recruitment.  She’s the owner of Interview Techniques, a leading provider of interview and career coaching services.  For a consultation, please call 087 669 1192 or leave a message on