Tips for remote job interviews

Written by konex on 13 April 2021

Side Hustles

Congratulations, you have a job interview coming up! …but wait, it’s going to be held over a video conference. This is the first time you will be participating in an interview over a conference call, and so you are worried about how to appear confident and relaxed during the interview. You need to build a strategy that will help you create a similar connection as if you are in person, while demonstrating that you are a great fit for the role and are head and shoulders above the other candidates.

Fortunately, this is something that can be achieved if you prepare well. Some of the tips we will provide may seem a little obvious, but you will be surprised to learn how many job seekers brush over them, which can end up being their downfall. This is especially true in a competitive job market like the one we are in now. Let’s make sure that you give yourself every chance in passing the interview and getting hired!

First things first, looking into your setup is very important. In terms of devices, using a computer is a lot more professional than a phone or a tablet. That being said, having a second device on standby that’s ready to go in an instant in case your computer is playing up could save you an embarrassment. It would also be useful providing the interviewer with your phone number in case you are unable to log onto the conference bridge.

While on the topic of phones, setting your phone on don’t disturb could save the interview. This is because it’s not a good look to the interviewer if you are constantly distracted by alerts and messages from your phone. So, turning off the phone and anything that could take your attention away from the interviewer such as your WhatsApp account, Facebook, email would be solid preparation.

Also, make sure the camera is at eye level instead of looking down. If the interviewer sees you looking down, it can make them feel that you are looking down on them, which provides a negative feeling. So, if the camera is at eye level, then you are looking at them as your equal which creates a far more positive impression.

If you are having a video conference call, you will most likely be at home. In that instance, you need to prepare the room itself. The room should have a door that you can close, and be quiet with a simple, clean background and has good lighting. Any mess that the interviewer can see will give the interviewer a negative impression of your presentation skills.

It also helps to test everything before the big day, so make sure your microphone works, and the camera is set up so that your face is nicely framed. If you wear glasses, make sure that you minimize any reflection that your glasses can make.

Check the link for the video conferencing platform in the invite for the interview to find out what platform they are using, and make sure you find time to practice using it. You will notice that all platforms are a little different, so you need to be wary of their quirks. Some of these platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts allow individuals to sign up for an account, so if you don’t have one, sign up and have a family member or friend do the same so that you can practice. That way you can see what your voice would sound like, along with other things we mentioned earlier such as lighting, background and noise.

Practicing the interview making sure you have prepared notes on how you want to respond to certain questions along with the stories you want to tell. Try to do this with a friend who provides honest feedback as it will help you get feedback on the interview itself. That way you will know if you are coming across as professional, or overly cheesy.

You can also use that time to practice things such as looking into the camera, and not the screen itself. If this is done, the interviewer will feel a lot more connected to you as you will be looking directly at them. Smiling more than you normally would is also important as it is very easy to come across as listless on a conference call, but smiling shows you are relaxed and enjoying the interview.

In terms of preparation on the day, make sure your clothing is in contrast to your background because if your clothes blend into the background, you risk the interviewer seeing a floating head. Remind yourself going into the interview that you will focus on sitting up straight and making eye contact with the camera and not the screen, which is a lot more difficult than it may sound. Write a note to remind yourself if necessary.

Finally, have a water bottle nearby in case your throat gets dry, and make sure you have a copy of your resume in case the interviewer refers to it, and also have some pre-prepared questions for when the interviewer asks you for any questions.

In summary, in order to give yourself every chance of success, you need to prepare more for a video conference than a traditional face to face interview. The video conference platforms themselves are relatively simple to use, but you should take some time and practice to make your video look and sound is professional. As a result, preparing for your interview well ahead of time will make you look good in front of the hiring manager, and save yourself a whole lot of stress process!

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