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Don't sweat it! 10 things to do when your Zoom interview hits technical trouble

Cubo writersOct 12, 2022

If you have been invited to an interview, it means that your resume has been reviewed by the company. And if you are invited to a Zoom interview, it means that they liked your qualifications and want to get to know you better before they invite you in person.

Which is great! But what do you do if during the interview things go wrong? Should you panic? Why does this keep happening to me? Here are 10 things to do when your Zoom interview hits technical trouble so you can nail it on the next attempt and send those messages of regret right back to your rejection letter writer.

Stay calm

The first thing to do when you run into technical trouble during a Zoom interview is to stay calm. It can be frustrating, but getting frazzled will only make the situation worse. Take a deep breath and remember that these things happen. It's not the end of the world. This means checking out what’s happening on both ends: does the interviewer have an issue with their screen or connection?

Does it seem like there’s something wrong with your audio or video? There are many possibilities for what could be going wrong, so try looking at all sides before concluding anything. If you’re not sure what to do next, just ask for help from the interviewer (if they are online) or contact customer service for Zoom later.

Remember, they can see you

A woman in blue denim jacket using MacBook proThe first and most important thing to remember is that they can see you, so try not to freak out. Even if your internet connection is spotty or your audio is cutting in and out, they'll be able to see that you're still present and trying your best. This will show them that you're on top of the problem and proactive about fixing it.

You may want to say something like I'm sorry, my internet is really slow right now or I'm sorry, I think my microphone isn't working. Maintain a calm voice throughout this process - you don't want them to feel like they need to rush through their questions just because your connection isn't great.

Give yourself enough time

Make sure you give yourself enough time in advance of the interview. Just because you have an office full of screens doesn't mean that you can make last-minute adjustments. Be sure to have an extra laptop or mobile device on hand if needed, as well as a charger for each.

A clock pocket watchIf you're unsure about how much time is appropriate, just ask the person interviewing you. It's better to be safe than sorry and then scramble at the last minute trying to fix everything before the call starts.

Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed. 

It is not unusual for the sound or video to freeze. You can try restarting the call, and if that doesn’t work, you can also log out of Zoom and then log back in.

Hand phone zoom meetingIf neither of these options works, you can try recording the conversation using your cell phone as a backup option. In all, make sure you have the latest version of zoom installed. This may be an issue with your computer, network connection, internet connection, or browser. 

Tell them what's happening

A woman in white shirt sitting on chair in front of MacBook

Make sure the interviewer knows that you know the interviewer is experiencing technical difficulties. Keep answering their questions, but if the issue persists, ask them what they would like you to do next. The most important thing is to stay calm and collected and answer any follow-up questions asked by the interviewer as well as possible. If you're at a total loss for words, don't worry about it--the best thing you can do in this situation is just say so!

Talk to the interviewer like you are talking face-to-face

Talk with the interviewer like you are talking face-to-face. Remember that they can’t see or hear you, so don’t be afraid to be expressive. Keep the conversation flowing and try a few different things.

A woman having a video call with a colleagueTry restarting your computer, logging out of all other programs and logging back in, checking for any virus protection software updates, re-installing Skype, or using another video chat application if possible. Make sure you tell them while you do all this.

Check your internet connection and make sure you have a strong signal. 

Modem antenna wire cable routerCheck your internet connection and make sure you have a strong signal. If you are on a mobile device, check the reception in the room where you are conducting the interview. Make sure there is enough space for everyone to be comfortable and well-lit. If anyone needs extra audio amplification, ask if they would like you to move them closer to the computer with more volume or if they need earphones.

Triage options with your team/colleagues/audience

Triage options with your team/colleagues/audience: Bring up the issue and share possible solutions in real-time with everyone. Send a screenshot of the error message, so that others can help diagnose or offer suggestions.

Try restarting the computer and unplugging everything from the back of the computer (including the power cord) for 5 minutes before plugging everything back in again and starting up again.

If you haven't started yet, start from scratch

Luckily, if you haven't started,  you can get back on track in just a few minutes. Refresh the browser window and try again. If that doesn't work, close and reopen the web browser. If that doesn't work either, check for any updates for your computer's operating system or Zoom app by looking on the App Store or Google Play store.

If all else fails, reschedule. :)

Be aware of how the problem is being resolved and be patient. If you are on a computer, try using another browser or go offline. If you are on a mobile device, use data instead of WiFi.

You can also restart the app and reload the web page. If none of these steps work, don’t panic: ask for help from the interviewer or contact customer service. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to start over with a new interview but we’ve got your back!