Remote interviews are the present and the future. Why? The pandemic forced many companies across the country to move to a remote system nearly overnight.
Now that we’ve been operating remotely as a country for almost a year, many employers have seen the positive benefits of having remote employees. Increased productivity is one of them.
Some benefits come from having partially remote, if not fully remote, employees. In fact, many companies have decided to stay that way, so much that your next interview could be over Zoom. Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to prepare for a remote interview over the phone or on video, brought to you by our sponsor, LinkedIn.
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Double check everything
You wouldn’t show up to an in-person interview 10-15 minutes late, would you? Being on time is just as important for a virtual interview as is in person. Showing up late looks unprofessional, which won’t help you score points with the person interviewing you.
First, double-check your internet connection to ensure it’s stable before the interview. Run a speed test, just to be sure. Try the FCC’s new speed test to be sure your internet is working fast enough to support your interview, whatever platform it may be on.
Second, double-check you have the software needed to run the interview. If your remote interview is over Zoom, you’ll need to download the software first. Don’t wait until 10 minutes before your interview! Be sure you know how to use Zoom, or you may end up like this poor guy in this famous Zoom mishap.
Finally, ensure all your equipment is working. Make sure your laptop is charged or plugged in before you start the meeting. Do a microphone check and video cam check to make sure everything is running smoothly, so there won’t be any hiccups during the meeting.
Don’t assume your call is audio-only and dress accordingly
Just like you wouldn’t show up to your interview late because punctuality is important, you wouldn’t show up to an interview in sweatpants either. Don’t assume your interview will be audio-only, even if it is over the phone. Dress like you would for a typical interview and look as professional as possible.
If your interview is over Google Meets or Zoom, it’s important to consider your background and surrounding environment as well. Look for a neutral background, so nothing is distracting. If you live with others, ask them to leave the apartment or go into another room so you won’t have any disturbances.
If you have any pets, lock them up so they won’t bother you during the interview.
Have a backup option
What happens if your laptop fails during your interview? What if it breaks the hour before? Consider a backup solution before the day of your interview, just on the chance that a worst-case scenario happens.
This may be as simple as downloading Zoom onto your phone in case your laptop decides to go E.T. and phone home on the day of your remote interview.
Be prepared to take notes
Remote interviews are just like in-person ones. They are likely to throw a lot of information your way. Be prepared! Employers appreciate that. It looks like you didn’t expect anything of importance when you have to get up to get a paper and pen. Have them ready and by your side.
Better yet, use them. It looks good to employers when you take notes. It shows you like to be prepared and are interested in what they have to say.
Look into the camera
You wouldn’t avoid eye contact in person would you? Of course not. A camera is no different. Make eye contact with your employer throughout the conversation and be sure to respond when they are talking.
Avoid fidgeting or moving around. You don’t want to look too distracted.
Research the company beforehand
Many remote interview tips are the same as in-person interview tips. That’s because simple skills like being punctual, appearing professional and being prepared matter in every environment.
Before you log on to meet with your potential employer, research their company and understand what it stands for. You’ll want to be prepared for any potential questions they may throw your way, and they may ask you about the company to see if you’ll be prepared.
All it takes is a few minutes of research to nail any questions they have to ask.
With remote work likely here to stay, your next interview could very well be a video chat as opposed to an in-person meeting. These tips will help you look like a rockstar, no matter where you are interviewing.
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