Zoom Interview/Auditions

1:00 PM

 

Remote work and learning continue to be our new normal, and with it comes remote interviews and auditions. Our way of interacting and connecting has changed indefinitely. It can be challenging and intimidating for many of us to figure out how to master interviews online with applications such as Zoom, a video communications platform. Meet these challenges head-on and use these new platforms to your advantage over the competition! We have compiled some great tips and tricks to make sure you are using Zoom appropriately and professionally while ensuring that you make the most of your interviewing and auditioning opportunities.

 1. Preparation is Key!

Remember this: Online interviews require the same amount of preparation as in-person interviews, if not more! 

Be sure to do your research after landing an audition or meeting, whether researching the client or agency you will be auditioning for, thinking of questions to ask, how you'd answer questions potentially given to you, etc. It is critical to do everything carefully not to appear to be 'careless' or 'uninteresting' during the interview. 

Make sure to wear professional or at least appropriate attire when you are interviewing or auditioning. Dress as if you are in person; remember to stick with solid colors and clothing that fits you well.

Another critical item easily overlooked - have a strong WiFi connection. You do want to lose connection or have lag time during an important interview or audition.

Prepare yourself to be ready ten minutes early for a Zoom audition/interview. Being prepared to log on early allows for a sufficient amount of time to relax, troubleshoot any technical issues (which happens more often than you'd think), and collect your thoughts, all the while looking every inch the professional for being prompt.

Remember: if you are on time, you are late. 

2. Practice with your platform! 

Practice makes perfect, and the same goes for Zoom auditions. If you are still a student or have even had to use Zoom before for other engagements, be mindful of how you look in the camera. Practice how you talk, where to look in the camera, the right time to utilize the mute button, joining meetings, etc. 

It's essential to have the application you are using downloaded onto your laptop or computer as well. Don't download Zoom the day of your audition or even an hour or thirty minutes before. Have the application ready, learn how to use it beforehand, and make sure any necessary updates have been installed.

3. Good lighting.

Although this may seem minor in comparison to other Zoom etiquette tips, arguably one of the most critical elements for a virtual meeting is, in fact, good lighting!

Check the lighting before your meeting. Wipe off your screen and camera with a cloth, so your desktop camera does not appear to look blurry. Try not to sit in a dimly lit room, in the dark, or with a window directly behind you (backlight will make it impossible for you to be seen clearly). 

Eliminate and avoid all shadows on your face, but keep in mind that you also don't want to look washed out. 

Natural lighting is a good option if it will last the whole meeting, or you might want to consider using an LED video light! 

4. Location.

In addition to excellent lighting, the location where you set up for your call is equally as important. 

You want to set up at home or any personal space that offers little to no distraction. Do not go outside or in a public setting like a Starbucks Cafe. These both attract too much noise. Typically, when you are at home, you are in a safe area and can control the environment. You want a quiet space with limited distractions, and this is best achieved in your bubble!

With that being said, don't forget to alert members of your household that you will be in a meeting and ask them to stay out of that specific room for the duration that you will be on Zoom. 

Keep in mind the space you have as well. Have enough space so you can walk, do photo movement, or improv, etc. 

Do not be driving in your car while Zooming! Not only is this unprofessional, but dangerous to yourself and those around you.

Additionally, try not to be in your bedroom when on a Zoom audition. If you must do your Zoom meeting in your bedroom, do so seated at a desk with a solid background or plain wall at your back. You want to avoid having your bed on camera at all costs, and you must not be lying or sitting in bed while on Zoom! 

5. Body language.

Body language is important now more than ever, with auditions being online. Instead of sensing someone's body language and seeing them in person, all of this now has to be done online. Consider these tips:

  • Make sure your eyes are in line with the desktop camera.
  • Look at the recruiter when speaking, but make sure your eyes go to the webcam when directed for a commercial, monologue, etc. 
  • Frame yourself properly! (Watch the video at the end of this article to reference how your framing should look.
  • Show good energy/enthusiasm! 
  • Speak up and speak clearly. 
  • Maintain good posture throughout.
  • Occasionally nod when listening to a speaker (this shows engagement in the conversation).

Note - if you feel too comfortable, you probably don't look professional!

 6. Create your online persona. 

 Creating your online persona is just your About Me on the web! Make sure to practice and keep it current! 

 On Zoom, there is an option to have a profile picture before when you are on the camera and even when you turn your camera off. You should attach a professional headshot of yourself there. Your profile picture should communicate who you are as a professional. 

 Also, make sure on Zoom that you include your first and last name when logging on to a meeting. There are many instances where people do not fill in their on-screen names and end up being seen on screen as "iPhone" or "user______." 

 Just like in an in-person interview or audition, you may be asked about yourself. While this is online, the value and importance of a quick summary of yourself are critical. Your elevator pitch should state who you are and connect your professional attributes to why you want to work with the recruiter and what about you would be valuable to them.

 7. Other Quick Tips & Tricks. 

  • Use a laptop or computer! You should typically never use a cellphone unless technical difficulties arise, causing you to switch over to a different device. A cell phone should be a last resort.
  • Test your technology! WiFi, laptop/computer, troubleshooting, charging, etc.
  • If someone walks into the space in which you are conducting your meeting and needs your attention, excuse yourself, mute your microphone, then take care of the situation. When you return, apologize and continue with the interview/audition.
  • Turn your cellphone off.
  • Ensure your camera is never off (unless dealing with an unforeseen situation during the meeting). Having your camera turned off signifies disrespect during an audition/interview. 
  • Stay calm, and stay smiling!

For more insight on Zoom, and other tips and tricks to be successful on camera, please take a look at our video on Zoom etiquette here.




Written by: Alyssa Lambo

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