25 Tips for Online Interviews via Zoom (+ Tools & Resources)

Zoom interviews can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they offer unprecedented convenience, allowing you to connect with potential employers without the commute. On the other hand, they present a unique set of challenges—unpredictable tech glitches, the struggle to convey your personality through a screen, and the daunting task of navigating unfamiliar software.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to demystify the world of Zoom interviews and arm you with effective strategies that go beyond the obvious. We'll delve into everything from basic best practices to advanced techniques and niche-specific advice, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make a lasting impression from the comfort of your home. 

Basic Tips

1. Good Lighting and Background

Why It's Important: Proper lighting not only helps you look your best but also keeps the interviewer focused on you, not the shadow on your face or the glare from a window. A clean, uncluttered background is equally important as it minimizes distractions and conveys a sense of organization.

How to Implement:

  • Place your light source in front of you, not behind you, to avoid being backlit.
  • Use natural light if possible, or invest in soft lighting like a ring light.
  • Ensure your background is neat and professional. Remove any distracting objects or opt for a simple, professional virtual background.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid harsh lighting that casts strong shadows or causes glare.
  • Do not sit with your back to a window unless you have good front lighting to balance it out.

2. Dress Appropriately

Why It's Important: How you dress is an immediate visual cue that informs the interviewer about your professionalism and how seriously you take the opportunity.

How to Implement:

  • Dress as if you were attending an in-person interview for the same role.
  • Even though the interview is remote, ensure to dress completely (yes, that includes pants!) to get into the professional mindset.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid wearing bright colors or intricate patterns that can distract the interviewer or cause camera flickering.
  • Don't assume that you'll only be seen from the waist up. You might need to stand up for some reason, and pajama bottoms will not send the right message.

3. Test Your Tech Setup

Why It's Important: Technical glitches can disrupt the flow of your interview and may leave a negative impression about your preparedness and attention to detail.

How to Implement:

  • At least an hour before the interview, test your microphone, camera, and internet connection.
  • Do a quick Zoom call with a friend to double-check everything is in working order.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid waiting until the last minute to set up your tech, as you may not have enough time to troubleshoot issues.
  • Don't rely solely on your computer's built-in microphone and speakers; if possible, use a headset for better audio quality.

Advanced Tips: Take Your Interview to the Next Level

4. Internet Redundancy

Why It's Important:

Internet connectivity issues are one of the most common disruptors of online interviews. A dropped connection can create awkward interruptions and could be misconstrued as a lack of preparation on your part.

How to Implement:

  • Ensure your primary Wi-Fi connection is stable and fast.
  • Have a backup Internet source ready, such as a mobile hotspot, that you can switch to if needed.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid relying solely on a public Wi-Fi connection, as these can be unreliable.
  • Don't assume your regular Internet connection will always be stable; always have a backup.

5. Tech Rehearsal

Why It's Important:

Conducting a tech rehearsal helps you iron out any kinks in your setup and ensures you're comfortable with the platform's features. This avoids wasting time during the interview troubleshooting issues, allowing you to focus on the questions and your responses.

How to Implement:

  • Do a mock interview with a friend or family member via Zoom.
  • Record the mock interview to review your lighting, audio, and body language.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Don't just test your tech; also practice using Zoom's features like screen sharing.
  • Avoid doing this at the last minute; give yourself ample time to address any issues that arise.

6. Body Language Hacks

Why It's Important:

Good body language conveys confidence and engagement, which are key to a successful interview. On Zoom, certain cues can be exaggerated or minimized due to the camera's perspective.

How to Implement:

  • Sit up straight and keep your hands visible, either resting on your lap or on the desk.
  • Make "eye contact" by looking at the camera, not the screen.
  • Use gestures sparingly and purposefully, ensuring they are within the frame of the camera.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid excessive movements or gestures, as they can be distracting and may not translate well on camera.
  • Don't look at your own image on the screen, as it can make you seem disengaged from the conversation.

7. Virtual Backgrounds

Why It's Important:

A virtual background can serve as a quick fix for an otherwise messy or distracting environment. It adds a layer of professionalism when chosen wisely and helps you control how you present yourself.

How to Implement:

  • Choose a background that is professional and non-distracting, like an office setting or a simple pattern.
  • Test the virtual background before the interview to make sure it doesn't glitch or create a halo effect around you.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid overly colorful or busy backgrounds, as they can be distracting.
  • Make sure your computer meets the technical requirements for using virtual backgrounds on Zoom; otherwise, the feature may not work well.

8. Audio Filters

Why It's Important:

Crystal-clear audio is crucial for effective communication. Audio filters can remove background noises like traffic, air conditioning, or other household sounds, ensuring your voice comes through clearly.

How to Implement:

  • Use software to remove background noise.
  • Test the software in a mock interview to ensure it works seamlessly.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Don't assume that all filters will work perfectly; trial a few to find the most reliable one.
  • Make sure the audio filter doesn't distort your voice, making you hard to understand.

9. Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Why It's Important:

Asking insightful questions not only shows your interest in the role but also gives you a chance to gauge if the company and job are the right fit for you.

How to Implement:

  • Prepare a list of thoughtful questions based on the job description, company culture, or recent news about the company.
  • Keep the list nearby but don't read directly from it, make it sound natural.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid asking questions that have already been answered during the interview or are easily found on the company’s website.
  • Don't ask questions that focus too much on salary or benefits in the first interview; save those for later stages.

Psychological Tips: Master the Mind Game

10. Managing Nerves

Why It's Important:

Nervousness can sabotage your performance by affecting your concentration, speech clarity, and body language. Keeping your nerves in check will help you present yourself as confident and capable.

How to Implement:

  • Engage in deep breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques 10 minutes before the interview.
  • Visualize a positive scenario where the interview is going well to boost your confidence.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid last-minute cramming or overthinking, as it can exacerbate your nerves.
  • Don't consume too much caffeine before the interview; it can make you jittery.

11. Building Rapport

Why It's Important:

Building rapport with your interviewer can make the conversation flow more naturally and leave a lasting positive impression.

How to Implement:

  • Start the interview with a warm greeting and a smile.
  • Actively listen and nod or provide verbal cues to show engagement.
  • If appropriate, engage in light, work-related small talk before or after the interview.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Don't fake enthusiasm or overdo it with the smiles; it can come off as disingenuous.
  • Avoid controversial or overly personal topics during small talk.

12. The Power of Pause

Why It's Important:

Taking a moment to pause before answering a question shows that you are thoughtful and considerate in your responses. It also gives you a moment to organize your thoughts.

How to Implement:

  • If a complex or unexpected question is posed, take a brief pause to gather your thoughts.
  • Use fillers like "That's a great question, let me think for a second," sparingly, to signal to the interviewer that you're considering your response.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Avoid using the pause too frequently or for too long, as it can make you seem unsure or unprepared.
  • Don't fill the pause with umms and ahhs; a silent pause is more powerful.

13. Control the Controllables

Why It's Important:

Anxiety often stems from the unknown or things outside our control. Focusing on aspects you can control can ease anxiety and enhance performance.

How to Implement:

  • Have all necessary materials ready and within arm's reach.
  • Control your environment to the extent possible to minimize disruptions.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Don't get fixated on things you can't control, like the questions you'll be asked.
  • Avoid multitasking during the interview, like browsing the web, as it's easily noticeable and comes off as disrespectful.

Niche Advice: Specialized Tips for Specific Job Roles

Navigating a Zoom interview effectively requires not just general preparedness but also specialized attention to the specific role you're applying for. Below, you'll find niche advice tailored to three distinct online job roles we feature here at Wahojobs: Customer Service, Online Tutoring, and Virtual Assistant.

14. Customer Service Interviews

In customer service, communication is king. Your aim is to show that you can handle stressful situations while maintaining your cool and delivering excellent service. Consider mentioning how you de-escalate difficult customer situations and keep satisfaction levels high. You may also highlight any experience with customer relationship management (CRM) software, as this shows you have hands-on experience with the tools of the trade.

Pro Tip: Have a couple of "war stories" on hand—situations where you've dealt with challenging customers effectively. Real-life examples will add credibility to your claims.

15. Online Tutoring Interviews

For online tutoring roles, expertise in your subject matter is a given. The key differentiator will be your ability to engage students in a virtual environment. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your familiarity with online teaching tools, from virtual whiteboards to interactive quizzes.

Pro Tip: A mini lesson plan or even a quick demonstration can leave a strong impression. Consider preparing a short presentation that you can screen share, effectively showing off your teaching style.

16. Virtual Assistant Interviews

As a Virtual Assistant, organization and multitasking are your selling points. Use your interview to show off your impeccable scheduling skills, your knack for juggling multiple tasks, and your expertise in project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Slack.

Pro Tip: You could create a small portfolio of your work, including schedules, correspondence, and even budget spreadsheets. Screen sharing this during the interview will make your skills tangible to the interviewer.

By customizing your approach to fit the job you're interviewing for, you'll not only stand out from other candidates but also show you understand the nuances and requirements of the role you're applying for.

Tools and Resources: Elevate Your Interview Game

So, you've mastered the basics, delved into psychological tactics, and even specialized your approach based on the job role. What's next? Equip yourself with the right tools and resources to ensure you're as prepared as possible. Here's a round-up of what could give you that extra edge:


Krisp: This noise-canceling app ensures that only your voice gets through, not the ambient noise from your environment.

Timezone Converter: If you're interviewing for a job in a different time zone, never miss an appointment with this tool.

Grammarly: Ensure your written communications are flawless, especially important for jobs like virtual assistant or writing roles.


LinkedIn Learning: Offers courses like "Mastering Common Interview Questions" and "Body Language for Leaders."

Coursera: If you need to brush up on your industry knowledge, Coursera offers a plethora of job-specific courses.

Udemy: For more technical roles, Udemy has skill-specific courses, such as "Excel for Business" or "Photoshop Basics."


"What Color Is Your Parachute?" by Richard N. Bolles: A classic for job-seekers, full of practical advice.

"Cracking the Coding Interview" by Gayle Laakmann McDowell: A must-have for anyone applying for tech roles.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey: A general but highly valuable resource for improving your work habits.

Blogs and Websites

Glassdoor Blog: Offers insights into company cultures and interview experiences from those who've been there.

Wahojobs Blog: For advice on online roles, Wahojobs has articles tailored for home-based job seekers.


InterviewBuddy: Provides you with real mock interviews with HR professionals.

Evernote: Excellent for jotting down quick notes or questions you may want to ask during the interview.

Bonus Tips: Extra Nuggets for Unforgettable Interviews

You've come this far, so why not go the extra mile? Here are some bonus tips to really set you apart from the crowd:

17. Record and Review

What: Use a tool like OBS Studio to record mock interviews.

Why: It's the quickest way to identify areas for improvement, from your verbal tics to body language.

18. Post-Interview Thank You Email

What: Send a well-crafted thank you email within 24 hours of the interview.

Why: It not only shows your appreciation but also keeps you at the top of the interviewer's mind.

19. Be Yourself

What: Authenticity goes a long way. Don't try to project an image of who you think the company wants.

Why: People hire people, not resumes. Being genuine makes you more likable and memorable.

20. Use Quality Equipment

What: If possible, invest in a high-quality microphone and headphones.

Why: Clear audio signals professionalism and ensures your responses are heard without any distortions.

21. Test Internet Speed

What: Use a service like Speedtest to ensure your internet speed is up to the mark.

Why: A laggy connection can be incredibly distracting and may negatively affect your interviewer’s impression of you.

22. Keep Notes Handy

What: Have a notepad or digital document open with bullet points you'd like to mention or questions you'd like to ask.

Why: It serves as a quick reference and ensures you don’t miss out on key points.

23. Nail the Intro and Exit

What: Prepare a brief yet impactful introduction and a memorable closing statement.

Why: First and last impressions are enduring; make sure yours count.

24. Adopt Power Poses Before Going Live

What: Perform a couple of "power poses" to boost your confidence right before going live.

Why: Research suggests that adopting powerful postures can improve your performance and comfort level in stressful situations.

25. Customize Your Username

What: Ensure that your Zoom username is professional and ideally includes your full name.

Why: It’s the first thing the interviewer will see when you join the meeting, so make it count.

These bonus tips are like the cherry on top of your well-prepared interview sundae. While they may seem small individually, collectively they can make a significant impact on how you're perceived. 


You've now been equipped with a comprehensive guide to mastering your Zoom interview—from basic to advanced tips, psychological insights, niche advice tailored to specific job roles, tools and resources, and even bonus tips for that extra edge. While the landscape of job interviews has evolved in this digital age, the core principles remain the same: preparation, presentation, and personability.

By taking the time to prepare in a focused and thorough manner, you set yourself up for a successful outcome. Good luck, and may your Wi-Fi be ever in your favor!