On TikTok, Lillian Zhang, a student at the University of California, often shares tips for building resumes, applying to jobs and conducting interviews. In a clip posted last month, Zhang noted how she had found the “craziest hack” for a video job interview.
Zhang began the video by filming her laptop screen and opening the App Store application. From there, she downloaded an application called Transparent Note and added it to her Notes app.
In the Notes settings, she turned down the “transparency” and placed the note in front of her Zoom video, allowing her to look at the transparent notes during her interview.
“What interviewers don’t want you to know,” Zhang wrote in a text caption placed over the video.
She also acknowledged how the tip could work during virtual presentations for school and that she wished she “knew about [it] earlier”.
As of 24 March, the video has more than 1.5m views, with viewers in the comments applauding Zhang’s advice.
“Omg so needed for my interview this week,” one person wrote, while another said: “Absolute game-changer.”
Others shared how they read their notes during job interviews, most of which didn’t require downloading the Transparent Note app.
“I literally just pull up a Word Document and cover half their faces,” one wrote. “How [are] they gonna know?”
However, many other TikTok users claimed that interviewers will notice if you’re reading off of your computer.
“I’m a recruiter and trust me, we know when someone is reading off something, on or off screen,” one commenter wrote. “So just be yourself. You can refer but don’t read.”
Another agreed and asked: “Won’t it be obvious that [you’re] reading though?” In response, Zhang said: “As long as [you’re] not reading word for word [and] just using the notes as an aid.”
Speaking to The Independent, Zhang noted how having her notes handy have been extremely helpful for her in different situations. “Not to read word for word, but it’s convenient to put notes or talking points that I can refer to throughout the conversation so I don’t forget anything important,” she said. “I would suggest interviewees not rely on reading a script, but instead use bullet points as talking points in which they can organically discuss.”