A lot has changed since the coronavirus pandemic caused the world to pause. And HR departments have not been immune. In fact, job hunting has changed dramatically.
The opportunity to meet a recruiter or hiring manager is almost non-existent, and once you secure a job interview, you can almost guarantee it will be done remotely.
If you are new to this medium, it can be a challenge to adapt. But if you are looking to change careers or move into a new position, you can vastly improve your chances of being hired by being prepared for your remote interview.
We have compiled a list of 9 tips to drastically improve your remote interview skills. So read this before you log in for your remote interview!
Adapting to Remote Interviews
While you might be uncomfortable with the prospect of having a remote interview, the person interviewing you has probably been conducting most of their business in front of a computer and will still expect a professional and competent interviewee.
Remote workers have nailed down their on-screen communication. They know when to pause so that they are not talking over anyone and have prepared their space for online meetings and interactions. They are aware of their online etiquette and monitor their own facial expressions and body language.
It is important to be prepared for any interview but, there are some subtle differences between remote interviews and in-person interviews.
So how can you get on their level and prepare for a remote interview?
1. Check Your Internet Connection
Losing your Wi-Fi signal when you are streaming a movie or music is very different than losing it when you are in the middle of a job interview. This is why it is essential to ensure that you have a high-speed and reliable Wi-Fi connection.
A weak signal will mean that your audio might lag and your video could freeze. Both of these things can cause a disruption, and you may be forced to fiddle with your device to reconnect or adjust settings.
If your connection fails altogether, you might be looking at a rescheduled interview or a missed opportunity. Whether your connection fails or is faulty, this could spell for a disastrous interview and you can miss your chance at your dream job.
To fix this, find the place in your home with the strongest Wi-Fi connection and test out a video call with a friend or family member before your scheduled interview.
If your video or audio are not working correctly, it could mean that you need to move closer to your router or away from any concrete walls that may be blocking the signal. If you have found a good spot, set up your interviewing station in that spot (and don’t forget to check the background).
2. Prepare for Plan B
When you are getting ready for your interview, and setting up an interview station or desk, ensure that you have another means of connecting to the interview. This is only for emergency purposes, but if your device dies or is glitching, having a second device ready to connect can smooth over what could have been a major issue.
Ensure that you have your second device (tablet, phone, desktop, or laptop) within reach and have it open to the app you are using for the interview so you can reconnect in an instant.
For extra security, ask the interviewer (preferably before hand in an email) if there is a backup option should your technology malfunction. You should be able to continue on the phone if your equipment fails.
3. Choose Your Clothing Wisely
During the pandemic, leisure and athletic wear have become a universal work from home uniform, but your remote interview calls for different attire.
If you are not sure about what you should wear for your interview, stick with the basics: a dress shirt, dress pants or skirt, and a blazer. Stay away from crazy patterns as they don’t translate well on video. Ensure that your clothing is neat and tidy. Your clothes should also be pressed and clean.
Even if the potential hirer has a casual dress code, dressing professionally will not hurt your chances.
4. Find a Quiet Spot
When you are scouting your interview station, make sure you choose a quiet place free from interruptions.
If you have children, they should remain away from your interview spot, and animals should also be kept out. The sounds of a dog barking or children playing can be highly distracting to you and the interviewer and could ruin your chances of being hired.
If your children or pets are at home, let your interviewer know that there may be a possibility of some background noise.
5. Wear Headphones
Headphones can cut down on the background noise during a video call and help facilitate a smooth conversation.
Wearing earbuds or headphones will also reduce the chance that the interviewer can hear their voice echoed while they are interviewing you. If this has ever happened to you at a drive-thru or on the phone, you understand how distracting it is.
6. Give All of Your Attention to the Interview
Working from home can be distracting. You will want to reduce distractions so you can give your full attention to the interviewer.
This means silencing your phone but also other alerts that may not be as obvious. Do you get email alerts on your device? They should be muted. What about social media? Stock market alerts? Workplace message systems?
Any notification that pops up on your screen can take your eyes away for three seconds, causing you to lose your train of thought.
Give your interviewer your attention. If you need to use notes that you have made, keep them close by and easily accessible.
7. Prepare Yourself
If you are someone who gets nervous interviewing, or even if you are a little rusty, being prepared for your interview will make sure that you are giving yourself the best chance at making an impression on your interviewer.
A remote interview can be harder than an in-person one, especially if you have never done one before.
Preparation will be your best friend. Check out your applications, and ensure that your password and username works. If you have enlisted the help of a certified interview coach, you may have some notes that you wish to have close by for reference.
Use a sticky note to attach to your device so that you are not rummaging around during your interview and you are keeping as much eye contact as possible. You may also want to bring a notebook for notes or questions when you are prompted.
8. Keep a Professional Space
When you are setting up your interview space, one of the most important things to consider is your background.
Like it or not, your interviewer has a look into your home, and if it appears dirty or unorganized, rest assured that will be noted. You can use filters on some communication platforms, but they can also be distracting. Try to interview with a blank wall, bookshelf, or art behind you, and if this is not possible, ensure that the space is neat and tidy.
9. Eye Contact!
It might seem silly to mention eye contact when you will be gazing into a screen, but it is vital—one of the most important things you can do during your interview, in fact.
The way to flawlessly execute this is by looking directly into the camera when you speak. It can actually help to stand up when you are interviewing to ensure that you are looking directly at the camera. Doing this well will show the interviewer that you are assertive and serious about the position.
Interviewing under the best circumstances can be daunting, but doing everything you can to be prepared for your interview will help you with confidence and poise.
As we mentioned, one additional way to ensure that you are prepared for your interview is to hire a certified interview coach from a reputable company like Career Marketing Centre. When you enlist an interview coach to help you get ready to answer questions about yourself and create a personal brand, you will show your interviewer that you have the expertise and knowledge to perform well in the position and give yourself a leg up on the competition.
Contact Career Marketing Centre to book a session with award-winning and Certified Employment Interview Strategist, Amy Watt, today.