It is still unclear whether we will return to in-person job interviews, and they may not return at all for reasons of convenience and health. This means that if you are fortunate enough to land an interview, it will most likely be conducted online, and you must prepare accordingly.
Without a doubt, you’ll need to do all of the preliminary work of imagining questions and formulating (and practicing!) your responses. However, you will also have to plan for and present your best professional self in an online format.
13 Tips for a Successful Remote Job Interview
The following are the best methods for acing a job interview from a distance.
You will be required to interview via video conferencing. The way you conduct yourself during the online interview will reveal a lot about your ability to work efficiently from home.
Before the day of your interview, make sure you’re comfortable with the platform. Consider any glitches that could derail a great interview and have a backup plan in place, such as having a headset handy in case of microphone problems. And don’t mute your audio to the point where the interviewer has to ask you to unmute it. Then, prepare to ace your remote job interview.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
The background that appears behind you while you’re onscreen should give your interviewer a sense of your work environment
Consider replacing a rock concert poster on the wall behind your desk with a scenic photograph. In staging your background, think like a set designer—and I don’t mean a fake background enabled by the video conferencing platform. Make it genuine while keeping your workspace neat and uncluttered.
2. Improve Your Lighting
Have you ever been to a video conference where the sun shining through the window cast a participant in silhouette? Don’t make the same error. Experiment with natural light from behind you, but make sure you’re not washed out.
If you are afraid of a cloudy day, purchase a circle light or a small spotlight. The lights must be placed behind your computer. You should also play around with your computer’s filtering system to fix redness and other issues.
3. Don’t Skip the Dress Rehearsal
A test run will ensure that you have honed both the technology and your online presence. Give a friend or family member a few practice questions to ask you, and respond to them as if it were showtime.
Put on your interview attire. Request that your friend objectively evaluate your lighting, sound, staging, appearance, and energy level so that you can make necessary adjustments before game day. Make sure your voice and body language are both animated.
How to Project Your Professionalism
Dress up even if you’re interviewing from the comfort of your own home, where you’ve grown accustomed to wearing comfortable clothing day in and day out. Even if the company culture has a more relaxed dress code, your remote interview is not the time to be casual about your attire.
4. Get into Character
To ace your remote job interview, match your appearance to the professional status you want to achieve. Not only will appropriate attire help you look the part of a professional, but it will also help you feel the part.
Avoid busy (distracting) patterns because your head and torso will be framed somewhat tightly onscreen. Use only solid colors. Wear your confidence color (the one that elicits flattering comments from your friends)!
However, keep in mind that you’ll want to choose a color that contrasts with your hair to add definition. Remember that a white shirt may blend in with the white wall behind you.
5. Reduce Distractions
Make the necessary accommodations so that rowdy children or yapping dogs don’t ruin your chance at landing a job. If possible, select a location where the neighbor’s leaf blower or the fire truck’s siren will not drown out your incisive response to the interviewer’s key question.
Above all, turn off all notifications! Set your smartphone to airplane mode. Your interviewer will appreciate having your complete focus.
How to Put Your Best Face Forward
Even with today’s chronic worker shortage, you can expect fierce competition. It’s critical to do all of the preliminary work required to converse confidently and answer questions with conviction and poise.
The best way to ace the job interview is to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and be able to explain how you will add value.
6. Research the Company
You will almost certainly be told the name(s) of the person(s) interviewing you. Look for any articles, blogs, or YouTube videos they’ve posted online. Everything should be read. You never know which research paper or annual report will reveal details for a well-thought-out interview response.
If you know someone who works at the company, or even someone who knows someone who knows someone, contact them and pick their brain for inside information. Learn about the professional backgrounds, areas of expertise, and current initiatives of your interviewers.
7. Prepare a Few Eye-Opening Questions to Ask
Prepare a few thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer. This is where you can demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on the company.
When the interviewer allows you to ask a question or two, frame them with an insightful observation about the industry or a recent success. You can also ask a question that will help you determine whether the company is a good fit for you, such as, “What types of employees tend to succeed here?”
8. Prepare for the Questions You Will Be Asked
Make a list of potential questions and prepare responses to them. Make a point of mentioning any previous successes as well as the transferable skills you will bring if hired for the new position.
Even if you aren’t asked the questions you prepared for, such as “Where do you predict this industry will be in three years?” you can incorporate your new knowledge into other responses.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice your responses to anticipated questions, both about the usual subject matter and potential outliers. Declare them aloud in front of a mirror, a family member, or a trustworthy friend. Know your answers well enough that they will appear spontaneous rather than memorized.
“Practice makes perfect,” as the saying goes.
Tips for Avoiding Mistakes
Whether your job interview is remote or in-person, know that rambling on about yourself or making any pre-emptive personal demands is both unpleasant and impolite. You will not only fail your job interview, but you may also be barred from future opportunities.
10. Table Perks Questions
Don’t inquire about salary or vacation time until you’ve been offered the job. The interview is a process used by the company to determine candidates’ skills and cultural fit, not your personal preferences.
Even if you are asked about your salary requirements, it is best to provide a broad range of pay and benefits until a firm offer is made.
11. Avoid bombarding your interviewer with specifics.
Do not inquire about where you will sit, how much travel will be required, how many days you will be able to work remotely, or how long it usually takes to receive a promotion. If you come across as demanding, whiny, or entitled, you will be passed over for the position.
Even if you ace the job interview and get the job, you can expect to learn a lot more on the job. You must earn any special privileges after demonstrating your worth.
Suggestions for Following Up
Most interviewees follow up, but few do so in such a gracious and memorable manner. Following up is more than just saying “Thank you.” That, and so much more.
12. Thank you to everyone who took the time to help you.
It is not only proper etiquette to send an email or a handwritten thank-you letter following your meeting, but it also gives you another opportunity to sell yourself to your interviewer. Send it off within 24 hours of your interview, whether it’s an old-fashioned posted letter or a personal email.
Make a comment or add another thought to a topic discussed during the session, in addition to thanking your interviewers for their time and interest in you. This will remind them of who you are and keep the fruitful conversation you had fresh in their minds. Make a separate note for each interviewer.
13. Return Visit
If you have not received a response, follow up again (but not too soon after your interview). The company’s timing may be slower than you’d like, but acting too eager can reflect poorly on you.
Still, following up with an email after a week or two to see if you have any additional information is a subtle nudge for any news the hiring manager may have to share about the company’s decision-making timeline.
To ace your remote job interview, you must prepare your background, project professionalism, demonstrate knowledge of the company, and express gratitude for your interviewers’ time. You have a good chance of perfecting your online interview charisma, rising above the competition, and winning over your prospective employer if you follow these 13 tips.
Good luck with your job search!