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JOBSEEKER.

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5 Crucial Zoom Settings For Remote Interviews [Updated For 2020]

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Sarah Wall
Marketing Director

This is the great thing about Zoom:

(Other than its reliability - although not full proof, it's more reliable than most).

It offers a large amount of functionality for free.

Making it a great option for small businesses or companies that are not ready to commit to a full payment just yet.

This allows users to test the service and get workflows together before any money has left the bank.

We have outlined the 5 important settings you need to configure to get the most out of your Zoom interview.

PLUS.

We have outlined our tips for a successful remote interview at the end of this article.

Let's get into it.

 

All the features you get with a FREE Zoom account:

  • Up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
  • 40 mins allowance on group meetings
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Online support

Meetings longer than 40 minutes will need a paid subscription

 Prices can be found here https://zoom.us/pricing

As you can imagine, Zoom have made it very user friendly so users of all skill levels can pick it up and go.

They've made a load of video tutorials as well.

This is how you schedule a meeting with Zoom: 

 
Easy, right?

 

Zoom is the perfect tool to interview candidates when in-person interviews are not possible.

All you need from the candidate are their email address and the scheduled date/time for the interview.

That's it! You're ready to go.

But.

If you want to get the best out of Zoom.

There are 5 settings you need to configure to tailor the service for video interviews:

 

1. Put the candidate name in the meeting Topic box.

Makes sense, right?

The meeting Topic is a great place to put the candidate's name and date/time

If you’re scheduling multiple interviews, this will make it very easy to tell them apart so you can launch the correct interview at the correct time.

The next tip doesn't actually make sense at first:

 

2. Choose OFF for host & participant video.

“But I want to see the interviewee!” I hear you say.

There's a reason for this

Of course, you want to see the interviewee (otherwise you could just call them).

BUT.

It’s polite to start the meeting with the video off so the interviewer and interviewee can CHOOSE when to make the video visible to the other.

This also gives them time to get that perfect angle from a usually unflattering webcam.

The next setting is often overlooked.

 

3. Keep the audio options set to “both”.

You might not intend to use the phone audio.

But it’s helpful to keep the option for either party to dial in should they experience glitches with their laptop audio.

It's always good to plan for every possible situation!

The country dial-in options depend on where you are located.

This next option will make your interviewees much more comfortable.

 

4. Check “Enable join before host”.

What's the first rule of interviews?

Don't. Be. Late.

This option allows the candidate to log in to the meeting whenever they want to.

If I was interviewing, I would definitely log in earlier to make sure I was familiar with the settings and controls.

Especially if I haven’t used the service before (or for a while).

This allows the interviewee to check their audio and video settings ahead of time.

A simple but easy way to make the candidate as comfortable as possible.

The next setting has caught people out in the past.

 

5. Make sure to generate a unique meeting ID for each interview.

This can often be overlooked.

Generating a unique meeting ID means that the interview is locked off to anybody else.

If you don’t, it’s possible for one candidate to enter the meeting room of another, possibly whilst the interview is going on.

The last thing you need is to throw off your candidate.

So, that's it!

It really is THAT simple to set up a remote interview.

Sometimes a simple video interview won't be enough.

Especially if you want to review code.

This is where screen sharing becomes so useful.

Learn how to screen share to present code or example work here.

But first.

Read our best practices for conducting a successful remote interview:

 

Additional tips for conducting a successful remote interview

1. Pick a solid platform. None of completely full proof but tools such a Zoom and Skype will be the most reliable.

2. Video calls only! It's very easy to be distracted on a regular 'audio' call. Video meetings require singular and focussed attention.

3. Test the connection before the call. It might be best, where possible, to use a hard line rather than wifi. 

4. Plan your space. As well as testing the connection, ensure that you've checked your 'interview space' before the call. Check the camera angles and distance, ensure your space is tidy and make sure you don't have any light casting shadows over your face. 

5. Use headphones with an external microphone. This will capture the best quality audio (microphones on laptops are never good).

6. Mute all other notifications on your laptop and mobile phone. This allows you to be completely immersed in the call!