We all know that a remote interview can be a challenge but with plenty of preparation, you can ace it too. A remote video interview is very similar to in-person interviews in many ways, but there are somethings to consider, such as technology.
How to ace a remote interview
You’ve applied for the role and got yourself a time and date to meet key people from the company - congratulations! Now let’s make sure you’re ready to nail your remote interview.
Research, research, research. Learn about the business you’ve applied to, find out what their roots are, how they’ve grown and developed and if there are future plans for growth or expansion. You want to demonstrate that you know the company, their challenges and strengths. You don’t have to do a monologue about the pros and cons of working there, but if an opportunity rises, you will be armed to mention pertinent information in passing.
It’s useful to do research when applying for a job anyway to see if your skills and values fit their business and culture.
Check out the people on the remote interview
Learn about the people who will be in your remote video interview, look for articles and visit LinkedIn to understand them better. Often their LinkedIn profiles will list out the programmes they know and the skills they have. Use this to help you prepare, think what sort of questions they will ask you.
Your interviewers will want to test your knowledge and experience. Consider what their potential interview questions for remote employees will be. Have the resume you sent to them on hand, either printed out or on screen. This is their reference point about you, so ensure you know it well.
Prove your experience and knowledge
Prepare a list of examples to prove your knowledge and experience throughout the remote interview. If you have listed out the programming languages you know, any project management skills, note what the brief was, what you did and how you successfully completed a project. Don’t forget to note any problems that you overcame, and how you did that.
Highlight the roles that are similar to the one you’re applying for. Make sure you bring them up when talking about your experience.
A remote interview tip is to pop bullet points in a doc and keep them easily available, whether on screen or put them on Post-It notes on your desk. Keep them simple and to your key talking points. If you have too many points then you will overwhelm yourself during the remote interview.
OK, so we’ve checked off the general preparation, now we need to talk technology.
Remote interview technologies
The company normally sends through a link to their preferred platform for meeting. It’s so important to check that the remote interview technology works on your computer or laptop. Some video platforms can be challenging to use, so test out with friends and family, or even using separate computers, a laptop and a phone, to see how the platform works for you.
Check your camera and microphone, test several times to ensure you can be seen and heard. What is your background? Is it messy and distracting? Does it reveal personal information about you? As much as possible, try to ensure you have a plain background that doesn’t distract from you and what you’re saying. If that’s not possible, blur or use a plain background during the interview.
Have a backup plan for if your tech fails on the day. Even the best laid plans can fail! Ensure you have the remote interviewers’ email addresses and phone numbers so that you can contact them as soon as you know you have a problem.
Warn housemates and family members that this interview is taking place! Interviewers know that remote interviews present unique challenges, but this doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Put a sign up on the door, arrange for additional childcare, walk the dog, ban others from using the internet for that hour, and try as much as you can to prevent distractions.
And as above, have a backup plan in case you have a visitor during your interview. Be confident in your actions as this will be noted by your interviewers.
What to wear for a remote interview
It's a remote interview, but it's still an interview. Turning up in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms is not appropriate. Maybe keep the tracksuit bottoms on but put a shirt and jacket on top to show you are invested in the interview.
You will have the chance to ask questions at points and the end of the interview, so make sure you have them. This shows your curiosity and interest in the company and the role, and if you do want the position, don’t be afraid to ask about future plans, opportunities, the team, the details of the role, and even the salary.
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