How to Slay a Remote Job Interview

Remote job interviews are becoming very common. Even if you aren’t interviewing for a remote position, there’s a good chance your initial interview may be a virtual interview. These tips will help you slay a remote job interview, even if you are new to the experience.

Remote job interviews are a very different experience if you are not used to them but they do have some great advantages over a traditional job interview.

  • You can be in your own space where you are comfortable.
  • There’s no commute so there’s no worry of getting lost or being late.
  • You can express more of your personality based on the background you choose and how you present yourself.
  • The person interviewing you is not physically present, which can calm nerves a bit.

A little advanced preparation can help set you up for success during your remote job interview. You’ve organized your remote job search so why not prepare well for your interview? Hopefully these tips help you find success on your next remote job interview.

Get to know the platform you will be using ahead of time

There’s a high probability that you’ll simply be using Zoom. However, some companies have their own platform that they use to conduct interviews. Many times they’ll offer a test room for you to use beforehand so you can get to know the platform.

Some initial interviews are not even performed live, which gives you the opportunity to practice your answers and record them several times until you are satisfied with them. Read the instructions well though because many only give you a limited number of times to record your response. Don’t be stuck with an answer you were planning on deleting because you weren’t aware of how many opportunities were left.

If you are using Zoom, test it out before hand, especially if you are using it on a computer you haven’t had a Zoom call on recently. Double-check to be sure your name and profile image is showing up the way you’d like them to. I once hopped on a Zoom call only to discover that my son had used it more recently than I had. He’d created a goofy version of his name as the Zoom name and it set me up for an awkward start to the call.

Plan your Background Before your remote interview

During a remote interview, you have the opportunity to set the stage in a way that isn’t possible during an in-person interview. Plan your background carefully and avoid clutter. This is your chance to communicate something about yourself without using words.

Avoid using a virtual background because it comes across that you are covering up what is there and often is distracting when the real background pops in and out of the frame.

Many people choose to use a blank wall for remote interviews. There’s nothing wrong with this, however it can come across as a bit cold. If possible, set up a professional background that adds some depth to the space without being distracting.

Some good choices include a minimalistic bookshelf, a well-organized photo wall (although avoid family photos initially),

Do Your Research

This is just a good habit before any interview, virtual or in-person. Research the company well. I was told during one virtual interview that I was the only one who had looked at the company website before my interview. It’s a great opportunity to get a leg up on your competition. While your at it, research the person or people who will be interview if you know their names. I like to connect with them on LinkedIn before hand as a subtle way to get them to check out my background again before we meet. Any research you do will give you an advantage. You don’t want to be scrambling during your interview because you don’t know something important.

Avoid distractions during your virtual interview

There are some downsides to virtual interviews and the most obvious one is the distractions that come along with interviewing in your home. If possible, have everyone else in your family leave the home while you interview. Send them out on a quick errand and tell them you will call when you are done.

Put pets in another room so you won’t have any unexpected barking or cat malfunction. Turn off the sound on your phone and disconnect your phone from your computer to avoid pop-ups on your screen during your call. This is the time to start practicing the skills that will help you be productive while working from home.

Dress for your Interview

It is very tempting to opt for the remote work mullet: business on top and party on the bottom. Yoga pants and a dress shirt may be totally acceptable on a regular remote work day but for a job interview it is important to dress the way you want to feel from head to toe. Create the confidence you want to feel by being fully dressed. I’d even say put some dress shoes on so you feel the part. Dressing casually makes it harder to feel professional and can impact the way you interview.

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