Being Interviewed on Zoom? Here Are Some Professional Tips
You’ve agreed to be interviewed on Zoom. If you’re like most people, the technology itself isn’t a barrier. (And if it is, you can consult our step-by-step guide to using Zoom at https://bit.ly/2yxcTN0.) However, you might be less sure about what you can do to make the best impression (and the most effective video) on camera, on the Internet.
Not to worry, The ASCO Post has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help smooth the way. Some of these tips apply to in-person interviews too (and we hope to get back to that someday), but for now, this checklist can serve as a guide to Zoom interviews.
What to Wear
In some cases, you’ll be speaking on Zoom from home, so it’s tempting to appear in casual clothes. However, your message is a serious one, and you don’t want to distract from it by wearing a T-shirt or crazy print, for example.
- It’s preferable to choose: conservative business attire; solid, dark-colored suit jacket (a tie is optional) or a dark solid-colored blouse/shirt (a white shirt is fine if it’s worn under a jacket, but too much white can cause a glare.
- It’s best to avoid: scoop-necked, plunging neckline, or shoulder-baring blouses; clothing that sparkles (no sequins or reflective materials, such as a jacket with metallic thread); heavy jewelry; bracelets or earrings that make noise; animal prints; hats (they can cast shadows and look a little goofy).
Before the Interview
Make sure you have:
- Access to a microphone in your computer. If not, use a pair of headphones or earbuds that have a built-in microphone
- A webcam on your computer
- A good Internet connection
- More light in front of you than behind you
- Access to a stopwatch (perhaps on your cell phone) or a clock to help manage time
Be sure to:
- Turn off your phone, computer notifications, alarms, radio, TV—anything that could interfere with the audio.
- If possible, close the door to the room you’re in to avoid interruptions from pets or kids.
Ask your interviewer:
- Whether he/she will be asking questions; if not, find out how long you should talk on your own.
- Whether you need to introduce yourself or that information will appear on screen.
During the Interview
You want to engage with your viewer/interviewer. Lots of people are tempted to look off into space (they think best that way), but it’s preferable to:
- Look directly into the camera.
- Try not to wiggle around or move toward and away from the camera, which can make you go out of focus.
- Try not to scratch yourself or touch your hair; it’s fine to use your hands when you talk, but it makes the viewer uncomfortable if you decide to groom yourself while on camera.
- If you need to restate something, be sure to pause, take a moment to gather your thoughts, and then look back at the camera before you begin speaking again. Long pauses give the editor time to digitally cut and paste. It’s also easier to make smoother edits if you are looking at the same focal point (that is, the camera) throughout the interview.
- Pause at the end of your presentation before signaling that you’re done. You want to give your editor a little bit of “dead air” to make a clean transition out.
After the Interview
Ask for the video’s URL when it goes up online. Tweet, share, embed, post!
A Final Note
Relax. If you’re not accustomed to speaking on camera, think of it as a conversation with your colleagues. If it makes you more comfortable, jot down a few bullet points you can glance at. Don’t try to read a script, memorize what you want to say, or over-rehearse; it just comes out stilted. This is a topic you know backward and forward. Give your fellow clinicians the benefit of your wisdom!