How to prepare for a remote interview
Most companies now rely on remote interviews, if not for the whole process, then at least for the first round of their hiring.
You are expected to be as prepared as you would with a face to face interview – but most fail to do so. It’s too easy to mess up a remote interview. It’s also easy to impress if you follow these 5 rules:
1. THINK ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
If you were having to do dozens of these calls every week, how would you feel about the candidates who are unprepared or worse, disinterested? How would they score against candidates who had the intelligence (and respect) to prepare well? Make their decision to progress with you easy!
2. DON’T GO IN BLIND
Not researching the company and the role is a sure way to fail. Find out as much as is possible about the business and the interviewer(s). Know your own skills and strengths thoroughly and your development areas! And prepare some questions (see #10).
3. PRESENT YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY
What interviewers see and hear around you will influence their decision.
- A shelf full of kitchen appliances is not the best backdrop. A picture of the Cheesegrater is more appropriate.
- Dress up, not down, even if you’re working from home. Tidy up so they see a professional environment.
- Avoid irritating background noises and interlopers during your interview. Ask other householders to make themselves scarce for an hour.
- Position yourself comfortably at a distance from the screen, like you would face-to-face. Having your whole face filling the screen isn’t flattering and being close to the screen can make it feel more nerve-wracking.
- Don’t chew gum! You wouldn’t do it face to face, so why do it on the phone or video call? Fresh breath is not so important through this medium.
- Have a glass of water handy.
4. PREPARE YOUR TECH
- Have you thought about what bandwidth you need for a video call and who else might be sharing it? If someone is video-gaming in the next room, you could have problems. There is nothing more frustrating for an interviewer who has a structured process than having to repeatedly ask the same question over and over because they could not understand your answer due to poor bandwidth or lost signal.
- What platform will you be using to attend the interview? Make sure you download it in advance and practice how to use it. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are more common than Skype these days.
- Test your audio settings – make sure you can hear and be heard. Connect any external speakers and microphones and make sure they work. A headset will help avoid horrible feedback noise that can be off putting for everyone.
- What is your backup plan if you lose signal? Will you move to phone instead or try to reconnect? Discuss this with your interviewers when you begin.
5. DON’T BE LATE
It seems basic, but surprisingly, more people are late for remote interviews than face to face ones.