We’ve had no choice but to put up with remote interviews over the last year, and whether we like it or not, they’re here to stay!
Many employers have felt the benefit of using video interviews in their hiring process – they speed things up, and from the candidates’ perspective, save time and effort on travel. We predict that video interviews are here to stay, for the first stage of the process anyway, before meeting face to face.
If you’ve got a remote interview coming up, have a read of our tips below to conquer your nerves and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Prepare questions beforehand
Remote interviews can feel a little transactional sometimes – question and answer, question and answer! For them to go smoothly, it’s good to contribute to the interview as though you are having a two-way conversation.
Do this by preparing lots of questions beforehand that you ask throughout. This makes the situation much less one-sided, and the employer will be impressed by your communication skills.
The hiring manager should have told you who’s interviewing you (if they haven’t, ask them). Check out their LinkedIn profiles and have a look at their recent activity; this may provide you with some topics to bring up in conversation.
Get your tech ready
The downside to remote interviews is that they rely on your technology working! The best device to use for video calls is a laptop; phones can be shakey, whereas you can sit steadily in front of your laptop with ease.
Position yourself in good lighting, such as in front of a window. And make sure your camera is angled well; the hiring manager doesn’t want to interview your nostrils!
If you’ve been given a link to the call, click on it and check it works. Most video calling software requires you to set up an account, so make sure you’ve done that beforehand to avoid running late on the day.
Turn off any distractions
During the interview, mute your phone and desktop notifications. If you are working in a shared household, make sure everyone in the house is aware of your interview so you don’t get disturbed. Try not to have interviews in public areas; it’ll distract you and you’ll feel self-conscious. A quiet room in your house is the perfect place.
The upside of remote interviews? No need for a suit and tie. Although don’t be tempted to dress smart on your top half and keep your pyjamas on your bottom half…if someone knocks on your door and you have to get up, it’ll be rather embarrassing showing the interviewer exactly what you’ve got on!
It’s still important to be presentable on a video interview, so dress smart and make sure your surroundings are tidy too.
Be mindful of your body language
Body language and cues can be more difficult to read via video. Ensure that your facial gestures, nodding and eye contact are used to portray enthusiasm and focus.
To set the tone of the interview and make a good first impression, make sure you’re smiley and warm from the get-go. Approach it as though you are catching up with an old friend.
During the interview
Make sure you have a copy of your CV to hand, along with some notes – that’s a benefit of remote interviews, you can stick notes all over the place without them knowing!
Check now and again to make sure the interviewer can still see and hear you. Speak clearly and calmly, with a glass of water to hand to slow down your speech when you feel like you’re nervously speeding up.
When we’re on video calls, it’s always tempting to look at ourselves – this can be really distracting. One tip is to minimise the screen so that you’re less likely to focus on your image.
At the end of the interview
When the interview wraps up, ask about next steps so that you know what to prepare for. It’s also worth asking if there’s anything the interviewer wants you to clarify further, or if there’s any concerns about your application. Follow up with a thank you note, and keep your fingers crossed for good news!
Remote interviews will never replace face to face in terms of building rapport. But they’re not going anywhere, so let’s learn to embrace them! By preparing properly following the tips above, there’s no reason why your remote interview wouldn’t be successful. For more advice ahead of your interview, view all our blog articles here.