6 Tips for Nailing Your Remote Interviews
If you have been actively looking for a job since the pandemic hit, remote interviews don’t spook you because you are already a pro at them. However, since remote interviews are becoming more popular and much likely to stick around even after lockdowns lift, it could become the “new normal” for all of us.
Employers are realizing the benefits of interviewing prospective candidates virtually because it’s a lot more convenient to schedule and conduct. Companies can tap into more resources because they can reach more candidates, across a broader landscape.
However, remote interviews can be just as nerve-wracking as appearing for them in person. Since the candidate pool is more vast, there’s also a lot more competition so you have to go the extra mile to stand out and be memorable. You have to make a lasting impression and be more engaging without getting distracted by watching yourself on the screen.
If you’ve never appeared for a virtual interview, don’t let the fear of the unknown get to you. Here are some useful tips for nailing an interview online that will help you land your dream job.
Tip #1: Set up a separate space at home
One of the challenges of working remotely, and even remote interviews is finding a distraction-free environment. We’re used to working and interviewing in a professional setting, it can be a little disorienting to have to do it in our personal space instead. You don’t want it to overwhelm you so it’s best to find a space where you can appear for the interview without any interruptions.
You don’t need to find a separate room; a corner in the living area can suffice or even an emptied-out closet. Place your laptop on a table or any other hard surface so the camera is at your eye level. Avoid placing it on a bed or the couch.
If you’re living with family or share the space with a roommate, then inform them about your interview prior to the scheduled time, and that you’d appreciate it if they don’t disturb you during it. If you have children and/or pets, try to ask a friend or neighbor if they can watch them during the interview so you are not worried.
Make sure you are close to the internet connection and have a professional background. If interviews make you nervous, light up your favorite scented candle to calm your nerves!
Tip #2: Make sure to test your technology before the interview
Remote interviews require access to a reliable and high-speed internet connection and a working camera and mic on your laptop or desktop computer. You will also need to download a software program like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams so make sure you do that the night before and test it out.
Check your email to make sure you have all the information you need so you’re not scurrying for it last minute. Test all the technology, especially your microphone and camera, and keep backup options if possible just in case. You may also need to run the software program once to ensure it’s compatible with your device and if it runs without any interruptions while streaming video.
It’s good to show up to a virtual interview early so you can set up the meeting and check your internet connection. Turn on the sound and check your headphones if needed to ensure that you can hear clearly and whether your microphone is working.
Tip #3: Dress professionally and keep it simple
Just because you’re appearing for a remote interview, doesn’t mean it is not professional. You have to make sure you put in just as much effort to get dressed for it as you would if it was in person. This is important because it shows that you are a dedicated and committed professional and that you are interested in the opportunity.
Also, it helps you feel more confident and prepare yourself mentally to nail your remote interview!
If you’re unsure about how formally you should dress for the interview, it’s best to play it safe and opt for business casual. A simple and neutral button-down shirt with a blazer and slacks is a great option for both, men and women.
Tip #4: Focus on your body language
It is important to stay professional with the way you talk, dress, and carry yourself during a remote interview. Body language is the number one key to communicate in an interview. You might feel too relaxed especially if you’re interviewing in the comfort of your own home but remind yourself to stay poised and alert.
Choose a comfortable seat but make sure you’re sitting upright and the camera is focused on your face. Smile and maintain eye contact when greeting your interviewer so you can express your enthusiasm and establish a rapport with them. If the interviewer asks you a question you weren’t prepared for, don’t panic and pause to collect your thoughts.
Tip #5: Prepare yourself as you would for any interview
The key to nailing any interview, whether it is remote or in-person is preparation and practice. The more well-prepared you are for the interview, the more confident you will feel. It’s better to rehearse your answers to the most common questions asked in an interview instead of writing them down and reading because that doesn’t seem as natural. Remember, it’s better to keep it conversational and natural as opposed to too rigid.
Don’t forget to prepare your list of questions that you’d like to ask the interviewer toward the end of the interview. This can be about the company or the job role, but make sure it’s well thought out. Asking questions in an interview makes you appear more interested in the job role and tends to leave a good impression.
See Also: Getting Hired At a Fortune 500 Company
Tip #6: Make sure to follow up on the interview
Many of us miss out on sending a well-timed follow-up after the interview but it makes a lot of difference in the outcome of a remote interview. You can send a follow-up within 24 hours of the first interview. Thank the interviewer for their time and let them know you’ll be available to answer any questions they have.