Remote interview tips

Remote interview tips

Congratulations – you have been selected for an interview!  Now what remote interview tips do you need to know?

We have previously looked at online interview remote – setting up.  You have set up your interview area and tested that the equipment is working correctly, so let’s now focus on the actual interview itself.

Be prepared

Double-check the date and time of your interview – it’s always worth checking that you have got the date and time of your interview correct, no excuses for being late or turning up on the wrong day. 

Even though you are having an online remote interview you should be ready at least 10 to 15 minutes before the start time.  You may be somewhere familiar, a home office or other workspace, etc. so you don’t need to worry about the venue, but you do want to have everything set up and ready to go.  Aim to look relaxed and not anxious or rushed.

What should I wear

Treat an online remote interview exactly the same as if you were attending a face-to-face interview.  Your prospective employer will be assessing not only your answers but also how you present yourself.  This is especially important if you will be expected to hold online meetings with colleagues and prospective customers.

Most companies are adopting a more relaxed approach to what employee’s wear, especially as working remotely increases in popularity, but your choice of outfit should accurately reflect the type of role you are going for.  Can you really take a manager seriously if they are sitting in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt?

I am sure you have heard the stories of the remote staff who wear shirts and ties, or smart blouses, during their video calls while secretly sitting with their pyjama bottoms on – so make sure you don’t need to stand up during your video call!

Dressing for work, even though you are based out of the office, can also help focus your mind.

Stay focused

Remember to turn off any equipment that will not be needed during the interview.  The last thing you need is loads of notifications coming in or mobile phones ringing.  Also close down any programmes on your computer that could distract your attention.

If you have children or pets why not ask family or friends to take them out for the duration of your interview.

Try and make as much eye contact with your interviewer as you can.  There might be interesting things going on in the background, especially if they are also conducting the interview from a remote location such as their home, so keeping eye contact will let them see you are focused on what they are talking about and not what is in their bookcase.  

A little trick to help maintain eye contact is to place something, like a sticky note, close to your webcam, possibly just underneath it, as this will help draw your eye-line back to where it needs to be.

Print out your CV/application

Even though this is an online interview it may be worthwhile to have a copy of your job application and CV printed out. This is especially useful if you are using a single screen as it would be very distracting if you had to flick back and forwards through several tabs to refer to it.

You can also have specific points highlighted that you wish to refer to, or notes on the company that you want to bring up during the interview.

Having the documents printed will also show a level of preparedness and organisation.

Also consider having a pen and paper to hand to make any notes during your interview.  There is nothing worse than talking to someone and you can hear them clicking away on their keyboard.

Make an impression

You only get one chance to make a first impression! So here are some tips to help you make the right impression.

  • Be articulate and engaging.
  • Proactively listen and answer questions as clearly as possible. 
  • Don’t try to second-guess – wait until the interviewer has stopped talking before you respond.
  • Give examples of situations you have dealt with in previous roles.
  • Identify tasks that you have excelled at and say how they can be adapted for the new role.
  • Discuss actions that you have taken in previous work situations and any outcomes.
  • Show you are self-motivating and up-to-date with the responsibilities of the role.
  • Do your research and introduce information about the company that may not have been talked about during the interview.
  • Show you are comfortable using technology as the job will require you to conduct internal/external meetings online.

Conclusion

Preparing for an online remote interview should be dealt with in the same way you would prepare for a face-to-face meeting.  By using the remote interview tips listed above you will be able to stand out from the crowd, for the right reasons, and hopefully secure that job.