Working remotely may be a growing trend these days but the rules of job hunting remain the same – you still have to impress your potential employer to win the position.
Some people believe a remote interview is less stressful than a face-to-face interview, but the majority of us still get very nervous and feel uncomfortable. Whether it’s over the phone or on a video call, here are 9 practical tips that can help put you at ease so you can ace your next remote job interview.
1. Ensure your equipment is in good working condition
Even before you start applying for remote jobs make sure you have at least the basic equipment necessary for a remote interview whether it’s through video chat or phone. So when an employer sets an interview time in an hour, you’re ready! Ensure your computer’s audio is working well or invest in a microphone if need be (there are many options available and they’re not costly), and check you can hear clearly. You don’t want to have to ask the interviewer to keep repeating their questions because your sound quality is poor. A quality headset is a good investment and you’ll use it regularly when you work remotely.
2. Research the company and the position you’re applying for
Remember that a remote job interview is similar to a traditional one. It’s not just about the company determining if you fit the job but also about your interest in being a part of the organisation. Know the company, its culture, and the job details beforehand to be able to answer questions well and know what questions you need to ask. Interviewers will be impressed when you’ve done your homework. On Remote Work Hub, you have access to our extensive database of employers from around the globe who recruit remote employees. Research these companies, connect and engage; a great resource for your remote job hunting.
3. Practice makes perfect
Practicing with friends or family can help to make you feel more at ease with the different remote interview scenarios you could be faced with. This is also a good way to determine if your tools are working properly or to learn important software functionalities like screen and file sharing.
If you’re not comfortable practicing with friends and family, we found this great online tool that can help – Big Interview provides powerful videos and virtual interview practice software. Created by Pamela Skillings, a leading job interview coach, Big Interview will help you improve your interview skills fast. If you’re someone interviewing for a highly desirable and sought after position that you know there’s going to be tough competition for, this tool could mean you get the job.
4. Make your surroundings conducive for the interview
Make sure there is nothing around that will distract you even if the interview is via phone. If it’s a video call, your background should be free from clutter and personal items that might distract the interviewer. Keep the area around you clean, neat and tidy, just in case your interviewer wants to see your home office environment to ensure it’s conducive to working productively.
5. Dress appropriately
Dressing the same as you would for a face-to-face interview can mentally and psychologically prepare you for the meeting. When you’re dressed in your ordinary house clothes you may end up looking far too relaxed which could be a turn off for the employer. And don’t make the mistake of thinking you only need to be formal from your hips up – no, it’s advisable to look your best from head to toe just in case you need to stand up and demonstrate something during the interview. Also, think about the type of attire that might be suitable for the company’s culture and dress accordingly (Tip: Looking at the LinkedIn profile pictures of current employees can give you a good indication of what is acceptable). A business suit might be a little too formal for a remote interview, but certainly look professional, neat and tidy. Smart casual is usually a good option. For men, choose a collared shirt in preference to a t-shirt. For women, a simple blouse (just make sure the neckline isn’t too revealing) and don’t overdo it with accessories.
6. Prepare your notes
One of the best things about a remote interview is that you can discreetly have your resume and research notes beside you or open on screen. Whatever the case, just make sure the information is readily available before the interview starts.
7. Deal with technical problems
Technical glitches can happen and sometimes they are beyond your control, making communication between you and your interviewer ineffective. Should this happen, politely ask to pause the interview if you think it’s something you can resolve quickly. But if problems persist, inform the interviewer about it and suggest resuming the session after resolving the problem. At least in this way, your interviewer can see that you’re a problem solver.
In a traditional interview, it’s easy to communicate through body language. This can be difficult in phone interviews. But when you smile, your voice becomes warm and friendly, which will be noticeable over the line. On video calls, just be conscious of your facial expressions because sometimes when we’re not in the same room with the interviewer we can easily forget we’re on camera!
9. Listen actively
Aside from smiling, be sure to appropriately respond to let your interviewer know that you’re listening. Asking for clarification, rephrasing statements and even just saying the vocal equivalents of nodding are signs of active listening.
As you can see, some tips also apply to nailing a traditional job interview. Whatever type of interview you’re called up for, with the practical insights provided here you’ll be closer to getting the remote job you want. Best of luck!