How to prepare for expat interview via zoom

05 August 2021
Though the core concept of the interview remains the same with the employer wanting to know more about your experience and how you would fit into the role and the company, there are some extra things you need to consider when preparing for an online interview.
Whether your online job interview is on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or another platform you need to have the software downloaded, be logged in and have the meeting invite link in advance of your call. By doing this you reduce your risk of joining the call late.
Is there a certain space in your home that gets a better internet signal than others or is your internet connection stable? A strong connection must be established for your video interview to avoid awkward technical difficulties such as freezing on screen while answering questions.

Over the past year and half many of us have had to make do with the space we have by setting up our work from home stations in our bedrooms or kitchen tables which often led to members of the household accidentally disrupting us while we’re on a call - be that children, parents, partners or even pets. 

There is a level of understanding needed but it’s also a good idea to try and avoid these mishaps as best as you can. Chat to your household - perhaps you can arrange the interview for a time when foot traffic in the house is lower or hang up a sign on your door saying, “do not disturb”. 

As mentioned before, many of us are working from unconventional areas right now. There are many free virtual backgrounds you can use to mask this to help you appear more professional and polished to your interviewer. Make sure to test out this background first to know that it works with your computer camera and the interviewer’s chosen video software. 
It’s important that you can be seen on the computer screen correctly for your interview so all of your interview skills can be noticed. Having a light source in front of you such as a bright window, ring light or even a lamp is a great way of making sure that you can be seen on screen and are not appearing dark and blurry. Again, test this out in conjunction with your space and the interview software.
Eye contact is an integral part of the traditional face to face job interview and the same applies for video interviews too. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen and instead aim your gaze for the camera so the person interviewing you feels like you are making eye contact with them. 
Body language is another key component to interview success. Ensure that you are sitting up straight for your online interview, nod your head while listening to show interest and remember to use facial expressions too. You can use your hands for some gestures too.
Even if you’re interviewing from your couch or kitchen it’s important to look the part. Dress as you would for an in-person interview. Not only will this make you look professional, it will also help you to get ‘in the zone’ for your interview.
All of the above tips require some level or practice. Make sure you are comfortable with each one with a few practice runs of the whole process. Having an online job interview is unknown territory for many but with a little preparation the process should run just as smoothly as a face-to-face interview.

Lastly, remember that this interview still calls for many of the recommendations associated with face-to-face ones. You should:

  • Research the company and the role
  • Learn more about the interview process
  • Be on time
  • Listen with interest
  • Ask the interviewer questions
  • Prepare for answering questions
  • Prepare any tasks related to the interview

We wish you the best of luck with your job search. Discover more helpful expat living tips and guides in our helpful expat blog section. 


If you’re embarking on expat life be sure to protect yourself against the unexpected with an international health insurance plan from Allianz Care. Speak to our expert team today to know more.