May 14th, 2020
Remote job interviews have become increasingly commonplace, but they pose more challenges than interviewing face-to-face. They’re a completely different experience, so it’s only reasonable that the way you prepare and what you do during them must be carefully considered. Being interviewed in a video call is daunting enough, and the last thing you want to do is make a bad impression simply because you didn’t put in the required effort upfront. We’ve put together 10 tweaks that can help you avoid common mistakes and ace your remote job interview.
Do Your Homework
No matter what type of job you applied for, one of the most important things you can do before your interview is to prepare thoroughly. Do your homework and try to find out as much about the company as possible. Many company websites have News pages or digital media/press rooms, which are excellent sources of the latest information about the business. You also should check the About Us page for more information about the brand, company, or institution, such as its history.
Familiarize Yourself With The Tools
There was a time when the tools of working remotely were a cellphone, a computer with an internet connection, and email. Times have changed, and companies now use a range of tools including Zoom, Skype, Google Docs, Google Hangouts, Slack, and Trello. Some companies even use Whatsapp groups, free live chat software, or Snapchat. There’s a good chance that you’ll be asked about your familiarity with the tools the company uses. Learning about the various options is a great way to prepare for your interview. If you are unfamiliar with the video conferencing software that’s going to be used, give it a test run first and ensure you know how to use it properly.
If you have children, a partner, or pets these can all pose distractions during an interview. You’ll want to remain focused while talking to a prospective employer. Remove anything that may interfere with your concentration, this is crucial. Take action well before the time and inform anyone in the house that you will need peace and quiet for the duration of your interview. If you have pets, rather limit them to one room so they don’t make an unwanted appearance midway, or cause noise or interference.
Be Aware Of Time Zones
If you live in a different time zone to your prospective employers, be sure to factor that into your communications. Make sure that when you agree on the time of the interview, you are both sure of when that will be. Mention your time zone to the interviewer, and double-check you know what time zone they’re in. If they suggest a time, check whether they are referring to their or to your zone.
Prepare The Area
Prepare the space in which you will have your remote job interview. This includes cleaning the area and checking the background is uncluttered and neutral. You also should check whether the surface of your desk or table is visible on screen. If so, make sure it’s clean and uncluttered too. Try to avoid displaying political or religious sentiments, or anything else that offers too much information about your private life and personal beliefs. You want to convey a professional image in every way.
Anticipate Minor Problems and Glitches
Try to anticipate and mitigate minor problems and glitches that could occur during your remote job interview. As integral as it is to your interview and to working remotely, technology can be your undoing. Ensure your laptop or tablet battery is fully charged. Additionally, that your power cable/charger is available to plug into a power source. Make sure you have muted your Facebook and other notifications, and check that your webcam and microphone are working.
An important tweak to ace your remote job interview is to dress in a way that is appropriate for the interview and for the company. If the company has a strong corporate culture, respect that in the way you dress. If it has a more casual approach, you can dress casually, but again, do so appropriately. Try to avoid heavily patterned clothing or garments with logos. Ensure that none of the clothing features offensive slogans or that it is shabby or soiled. Essentially, pretend you are going in for a face to face interview, and style yourself accordingly.
One of the keys to a successful interview is to be enthusiastic about the interview, the company, and the job you are applying for. Let your attitude convey how happy you would be to work for the company. If your attitude conveys boredom or the feeling that you could be applying for any old job, it will not make a good impression. If it’s your first interview with a potential employer, be careful not to lead with questions about time off, wage expectations, or how long it will take before you’d be eligible for a raise. These topics may make you look enthusiastic about the wrong things; those are best left for when a relationship has been established, or a job offer is imminent.
Be Confident, Not Arrogant
You stand a better chance of acing your remote job interview if have a confident attitude but are not arrogant. There’s nothing wrong with talking about your achievements, whether in your education or in a previous job, but be careful that you don’t sound boastful. It can help to talk about your contribution to your previous company in a way that emphasizes yourself as part of the team, rather than as the star of the show. Your prospective employers will also be impressed if you can convey some knowledge of their company. Try to do that in a way that does not make you sound like a know-it-all.
Talk About Your Hobbies
The people who will interview you remotely most likely are aware that working remotely can eat into personal time. For this reason, they will probably ask how you plan to manage the balance between work and personal life. That is the perfect time to bring up your hobbies and interests. If you do not have a hobby, try to find one before you are interviewed. Speaking about your hobbies also helps to give the interviewers a better idea of your character and nature. It gives them a more personal insight into the person they may be hiring. With an increased focus on working from home, interviewing remotely may well be the future. By following these 10 tips you’ll be better prepared and feel confident when facing a potential employer virtually.
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Tags: job interview tips, modern working tools, problem solving advice, remote interview, remote job, time management, virtual work