When participating in a remote job interview, remember – the aim is the same as a face to face interview. You want to find out if this company and role is right for you, and highlight your knowledge, skills and expertise.
Whilst there are many things in common with face-to-face interviews, remote job interviews do require a few unique considerations to ensure you make the best impression possible.
1. Test your Technology
Most remote interviews will require some sort of video conferencing software. In some cases, phone interviews might also be used. If using video conferencing, your interviewer or recruiter will most likely email you an ‘invitation’ prior to your interview. Within the email will be a link to the software platform being used to conduct the video interview. There are several software platforms that could be used. Some of the most common are:
To participate in a remote interview you will need a device that has video and microphone/audio capabilities. If your computer does not have this, you may be able to purchase a webcam and install this on your computer. If you can’t do this, most smart phones can host remote meetings. If you do use your phone for the remote meeting you will need to ensure that you have the correct app downloaded.
Before entering your remote interview, allow 10 minutes beforehand test the webcam and microphone on your computer or device.
Participating in a phone interview? Landlines still offer the best connections for remote interviews. Mobile phone connection can drop out and interfere with communications between you and your interviewer. If possible, try to conduct any phone interviews through a landline.
2. Arrange your area for interview
When you’re setting up for your remote interview, look behind and around you to see what will be in the video background. Messy spaces full of clothes baskets, children’s toys or other personal items can seem unprofessional and gives the interviewer information about you that doesn’t pertain to your job. Keep your background clean and neutral.
Lighting and camera angle is also important during a remote interview. Ensure that your camera is eye level (you may need to prop your laptop up if your camera is inbuilt) so you are facing the camera straight on. Make sure you can see the top of your head down to your shoulders on your image preview.
You need to be aware of the lighting during a remote interview also. Don’t sit with a window behind you or your face will be shadowed. Sit facing a window if you can for natural light. If you are using artificial lighting, don’t shine it directly in your face and try to avoid overhead lighting.
3. Mitigate interruptions
When preparing for your remote interview, take your time to review your set up and try to anticipate anything that might interrupt conversation during your interview. Some things to keep in mind:
- Ensure that you are in a quite space with as little background noise as possible.
- Communicate with members of the household to ensure your privacy and avoid any make sure you ‘video bombing’ moments from children or pets.
- Turn off any notifications on your devices and put your phone on aeroplane mode.
- Ensure your computer or device is fully charged or plugged into a power source before the meeting starts
4. Dress the part
Even if your remote interview is over the phone and the recruiter won’t be looking at you, it still pays to dress the part. Wear what you would normally if you were going to a face to face interview. Professional attire will help put you in the right mindset for your interview. Ensure you are clean and tidy and dress smartly. Choosing the correct clothing for your meeting shows your prospective employer that you are taking your remote interview seriously.
5. Think ahead
Think ahead to make sure you do everything you can to help your interview go smoothly on your end. Sometimes small preparations can have a big effect. Some tips include:
- Do you research. Before your interview, make sure you learn as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with. This shows you’re proactive, independent and enthusiastic about working with your prospective employer.
- Have your resume handy on another screen or printed out in front of you. If you do need to reference your resume during your interview you won’t need to dart around looking for it.
- Have a pen and paper handy. This will allow you to take notes without needing to flick to another screen and type.
6. Look into the Camera
This is especially important during video interviews. During a video chat you may find yourself looking at your own image on the screen or you might be making an effort to look at the interviewer – like you would in a face to face meeting. But remember – if you want to look someone in the eye in a video call you need to look directly into the camera. It takes a bit of getting used to, but by looking into the camera you show your confidence and create a direct connection with the person on the other end.
Try practising a remote interview with a partner to help identify and iron out any issues that might occur during your meeting. Properly prepping for any interview is vital in giving you the best chance possible to turn your interview into a job opportunity.
Want more advice on how to make a great impression during your next job interview? Read our handy article.
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