The Carlton Connection

10 Easy Ways to Zoom Yourself Out of a Job!

By Annette Monks, CTS

President, Carlton Staffing

Have you been interviewing a lot via Zoom (or any other video platform) and you don’t seem to be getting any further than that first interview?

It is possible that your experience and skills have nothing to do with why you’ve not been successful. Here are ten things from a Zoom interview and what the interviewer/hiring manager is thinking that an employer will likely NOT tell you as to why they passed on you:

  1. You are late for the zoom interview.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Really? You don’t even have to drive to me, and you still can’t be on time?”
    • Solution: Ideally, you would be in the waiting room when they get on. Jump on 5 minutes early unless they specifically ask you not to.
  2. You are having multiple computer issues – especially for any job that requires you to use technology which is basically – ALL of them.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Seriously? This person didn’t double-check to make sure everything was in order for our meeting?”
    • Solution: Check your connection sooner than 10 minutes prior to your interview. Eliminate potential issues; i.e. go around the house and ask everyone to stay off of the internet for the duration of your interview, etc. Practice as much in advance as you can – preferable at least the day before.
  3. You do not turn your camera on.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Hello, this is a VIDEO interview! I’m on video so what are you hiding if you aren’t on too?”
    • Solution: Make sure this works. Everyone has a phone with a camera these days that can serve as a last resort. FYI, the phone is not IDEAL but if used correctly, it will work fine.
  4. You are using your phone and have it in an unflattering position.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Hey, I really don’t want to be looking up your nose this entire interview!”
    • Solution: If you are going to use your phone, make sure it is positioned directly in front of you like a laptop…no, not like a selfie pic, like a laptop!
  5. You are moving around during the interview. Either you are walking around the house or outside or worse, you are driving.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Is this a remake of the Blair Witch trials? This is starting to make me dizzy!” Or “What kind of irresponsible person drives while they are on a video conference? If they don’t have enough sense to NOT do that, I don’t want to work with them.”
    • Solution: Find a place. Get set. Stay there!
  6. You are in the dark.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “I can’t even see you! Have you ever done this before?”
    • Solution: Do not sit in between your computer and a bright window. They will see a silhouette of you only. Ensure you have enough light in the room on your smiling face.
  7. You have distractions all around you such as a background TV or radio, pets barking or climbing on you or your chair, kids playing loudly, people yelling in the background.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Did they even set aside time for this meeting? Do they even care?
    • Solution: An interview may seem informal at times because you both may be remote, but do not let your guard down and assume anything other than formality is in order. Get somewhere quiet with no distractions for either of you.
  8. You are dressed inappropriately.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Do they even care?”
    • Solution: The informality of remote interviews can lull us into thinking casual and comfy attire will be fine. Don’t let that happen! I don’t care if you are wearing pajama bottoms, but make sure the top is professional (jacket preferred), you are well-groomed, and you look the part!     
  9. Your background is inappropriate.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Is this person going to be a good representation of my company and company brand?”
    • Solution: There are too many directions to go here about what a potential employer could see and think/feel based on what could be on your walls or shelves in view of the camera. Bottom line: remove anything controversial from view.  
  10. Look into the camera or at least the direction of the camera.
    • Hiring Manager is thinking: “Helloooo, are you paying attention?”
    • Solution: Often people have their camera on the side, and they are looking into a different monitor. It looks like you are not paying attention to them. Set it up so both are in the same place.

These may seem like trivial things but sometimes that is all it takes to blow an interview. If you can minimize these distractions, it will allow the interviewer to focus on the best part of the interview – YOU!      

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