Although remote job interviews have been around for a while, and are a common practice for many freelancers and other remote workers, the COVID-19 pandemic has popularized this method of interviewing. If you’re currently job seeking, chances are you’ll participate in a remote job interview at some point.
After reviewing your resume to determine your qualifications, the next step of the hiring process involves a company representative reaching out and schedule an interview with job candidates to further assess your qualifications and learn more about you and whether or not you’ll be a good fit for the position.
Some may assume that a remote interview isn’t much different from an in-person interview; but there are a few differences you’ll need to be aware of so you can make your best first impression
#1 Find Out whether the Interview will be by Phone or Video
Will the interview be by phone or video? Both methods require some preparation. For starters, you’ll want to choose a low traffic area with no distractions regardless (no family members walking around and/or background noise). If the interview is by phone, make sure your phone is fully charged and ready for the call. If it’s a video interview, consider the environment and lighting. Find a comfortable seat in an area that’s clean with a simple background. Make sure to turn off all notifications and alerts on your phone and computer.
#2 Do Your Research
Research the company and the person that will be interviewing you. Even though you can’t predict the questions your interviewer will ask, I recommend preparing a list of commonly asked interview questions and your responses in advance so you don’t get stumped. You can also search Gassdoor.com for company reviews by former employees; some reviews may even include information about commonly asked interview questions.
#3 Keep It Professional
Again, choose a low traffic area with no distractions (zero background noise and no people walking around in the background). If you’re preparing for a video interview, an office is a good area. Make sure everything is neat and (no random paper piles or stacks of books). Some video conferencing programs will allow you to select a blank background.
Dress as if you were preparing for an in-person interview. I know we’ve all be in quarantine for a while and comfort rules when you’re spending most of your day at home; but put some effort into looking your best.
#4 Test Your Equipment
The last thing you want to happen during a job interview is to discover the camera or mic isn’t working properly. Test everything well before the interview to avoid unexpected issues. Consider recording yourself so you can critique your voice and delivery, facial expressions, gestures, and posture; as well as the lighting, sound, and camera quality and make any necessary adjustments.
#5 Be Prepared
Print out a copy of your resume, notes, your list of commonly asked interview questions and your responses, closing questions for the interviewer, and any other useful information ahead of time. If you’ll be sitting at a desk, you can arrange your documents in front of you for easy access. Make sure you have your contact’s email and phone number on hand just in case there’s an unexpected emergency and you need to make contact before the scheduled interview.
#6 Close with Questions
As the interview winds down, many interviewers will ask if you have any questions. You absolutely should have questions! You want to convey a sincere interest in the position. Now, you may end up having questions anyway by the end of the interview; but it doesn’t hurt to prepare a couple of questions just in case – for example, you might ask about the next steps in the hiring process.
Always thank them for their time and don’t forget to follow up with a personalized thank you email or note!
Photo Credit: The Creative Exchange
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