By Erica Devaney

February 26, 2021

A job interview can be a scary and stressful experience — but it doesn’t have to be. In order to understand how to tilt the scales in your favor, especially as so many interviews move to virtual platforms like Zoom, we reached out to Erica Devaney, a hiring manager with six years of experience staffing positions like copywriters, editors, and UX writers.

How to Prepare for a Zoom Interview

Before each interview I conduct, I spend a few minutes reviewing the information the candidate has provided and developing specific questions I’d like to ask them alongside the common questions I typically ask. I usually prepare for interviews shortly before the interview, so their resume, writing samples, and any project they’ve completed for us are all fresh in my mind.

Similarly, to prepare for your interview, I suggest researching the company and the role you’re interested in. This effort should give you a better idea of what you’re really interviewing for and help you feel confident that the role is right for you. From the recruiter’s perspective, it’s easy to tell if a candidate has no idea what they’re interviewing for, and it makes them look unprepared.

You should also reflect back on your experience and gather some examples of projects that made you proud, feedback that helped you grow, and challenging projects that taught you lessons. It doesn’t matter whether these experiences and examples are from classes, internships, or past jobs. What’s important is having some examples in mind so you don’t have to take too long during your interview to come up with responses to questions.

On the flip side, you don’t want to spend so much time preparing that every one of your answers sounds rehearsed or memorized. I want to get to know your personality and enjoy a conversation with you, not hear you offer answers you’ve memorized.

I typically prepare around 7-10 interview questions for a 30-minute meeting, leaving some time for follow-ups as well as to see if the candidate has any questions I could answer or concerns I could address.

While every interview — and interviewee — is different, there are a few practical steps candidates can take to be better prepared for a Zoom interview, which I outline below.

Zoom Interview Preparation Tips

Candidates who take the time to prepare for an interview tend to stand out. Here are my top recommendations for successfully interviewing online, whether this is your first or fiftieth Zoom call:

  • Test out the interview platform in advance.
  • Use the best internet you can access.
  • Have a plan B if your internet is shaky.
  • Find the quietest place you can.
  • Consider using a virtual background.
  • Choose your outfit based on company dress code.
  • Research your interviewers.
  • Prepare personalized questions for each interviewer.
  • Send your thank you note — or any follow-up questions — promptly.


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