Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking time, especially when you really want the job. Getting ready for a remote job interview isn’t too different from an in-person one. The company wants to assess if you’re the right candidate for them. And, of course, you want to figure out if the company is right for you.
While there are some things that are pretty much the same for all interviews, getting ready for a remote job interview requires a few extra steps.
If you use this guide to prepare for your remote job interview, you’ll go into it feeling calm, organised and ready to knock their *metaphorical* socks off!
1. Getting set up for your first remote interview
So, you’ve got an interview via Zoom in 2 hours time. You’ve been sent the link to get started but have never used Zoom before, let alone for an interview. So how should you spend the next two hours?
- Find a quiet space… not your bed! Find a setting that’s appropriate. If you don’t have a desk, find a space similar that you’d feel comfortable with an employer seeing. Check the wall behind you too.
- Test the tech - is your computer compatible with the video tool? Also test that the mic and camera work - if possible, call a friend in the same setting to check.
- Check your wifi - Is your internet connection strong enough, will the video be laggy?
- Dress for the interview even though you’re at home!
- Check you have all the correct interview information, including time, date, and links? (Very important in any interview!)
- Have the interviewers telephone number and email address to hand - just in case the call gets cut off and you need to contact them.
2. The remote job interview
You’ll need to do all the usual job interview preparation while you’re preparing for a remote job interview. Some of these may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what you can forget when you’re nervous! So, don’t forget to...
- Be early, even though it’s not in person make sure you’re ready to go before the interview is due to start.
- Stay engaged, try not to look away too much to make notes and stay focused on the interviewer. You’re not actually in front of them so it’s important to show active listening and try to engage with them and make eye contact through the video.
- Wait a few additional seconds before replying to questions to compensate for any lag time or delays in the signal.
- Smile and be friendly - as you’re not actually face-to-face you want to make a good first impression.
- If you need to, have your CV and other interview prep printed in front of you so you don’t interact with your computer during the interview. You don’t want to be playing around with stuff on the screen while they are talking!
Side note: what if there are technical difficulties and that worst-case scenario you played out in your imagination actually happens?!
Don’t panic. Demonstrating to a company how you deal with an unexpected internet interruption or a technical issue during an interview can be a great way to show that you’re a proactive problem-solver who is good under pressure.
Send them a text message, or email explaining the issue as the first priority.
Have a back-up plan (a worst-case scenario in place) and have your phone ready if you need to call them.
3. Common tools and how they work
The interviewer will most likely send you a link that you’ll use to join the meeting (your interview). While you’re preparing for your remote job interview, you might come across some of these video conferencing tools:
Others you may come across:
4. The aftermath
Although this interview is remote, treat the aftermath the same as a normal in-person interview. Let the interviewer decide when the interview is complete and offer to re-send them your CV or any examples of your work that were discussed during the interview. To win some extra candidate points:
- Send them an email thanking them for their time.
- Give them time to respond to you, some employers will get back to you over the next few days. Some might take longer.
And, if you don’t hear back...
- Follow-up with the employer about a week afterwards. Send them a friendly email saying you hope that they are well and that you are happy to send them any additional information about you or answer any more of their questions if they need.
If you use this guide to prepare for your remote job interview, you’ll go into it feeling calm, organised and ready to make a brilliant first impression.