We’ve had to deal with a lot of change over the past year without question and the remote working world is perpetually discussed as one of those changes. On the other hand, a topic which has received far less coverage and is likely to become an increasingly permanent fixture in our lives, is that of the remote interview.
In the modern world, society takes a relatively sink or swim approach to technology. You can avail of courses and how-to guides but, for the most part, it’s assumed that we intuitively know how to use new forms of technology or how to apply existing technologies in new ways. That’s not the case for many people and that’s not cause for embarrassment, nor should it impact the fundamental opportunities they are afforded.
Remote interviews are putting many people at a disadvantage and costing them job opportunities without them realising. The fact is that they’re not very different from the in-person interviews we’re all used to. There are just a few small things you can do to prepare yourself and make sure you put your best foot forward.
Familiarise Yourself with the Technology:
Typically, after arranging a remote interview, the hiring manager or HR representative will supply the platform being used along with a meeting link or meeting ID and access code. You should download and install the technology you’re using ahead of time. Set up a meeting with a friend or family member to test it out. You should also use this opportunity to test your camera, microphone and audio. You can check out this handy How-To guide from Zoom themselves, to walk you through these processes step by step. If you’re using Microsoft Teams, you can check out their guide here.
Set-Up Your Space:
Once you’re comfortable with the platform itself, you need to think about the room you’ll be conducting the interview in. It needs to be quiet and free from distractions, not just for you, but for the interviewer also. You want them to focus entirely on your words, personality and experience.
Make sure the background is neat and tidy. You may want to remove excess posters or pictures from the walls behind you. Think about it – what’s the use in wearing a nice shirt and tidying your appearance only to leave a stack of dirty clothes in the background or an unmade bed. If you don’t like the space you’re using and don’t have an alternative, you can set a virtual background on Zoom. It’s not complicated at all and can be a great option for distraction prone environments.
Watch Your Body Language:
Body language is so important in the interview arena. The vast majority of what we say doesn’t actually come from our mouths. In a formal interview setting, we naturally become more rigid and self-aware. However, in the comfort of our own homes, we tend to be more relaxed despite being on camera. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight with your shoulders square and maintain eye-contact. Eye-contact should really be labelled camera-contact in this instance – focus on your computer’s camera every now and then as the equivalent to making good eye contact. It comes across well on the interviewer’s side.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of reading scripted or prepared answers straight from a laptop screen or nearby device or notepad. Don’t do this! It wouldn’t be acceptable in a traditional interview format and it’s just as obvious to an interviewer. Have notes with some talking points for reference, of course, just don’t rattle them off, line by line. Be yourself and arrive prepared, interviewers will pick up on that. As always, you should also have a list of pre-prepared questions to ask the interviewer. This displays your interest and preparedness; both are highly desirable qualities.
Virtual Interviews aren’t all that different from the real deal. You just need to be prepared and the best way to do that is practice. Familiarise yourself with the technology, review your experience, determine the types of questions you may be asked and how best to answer them. Interviewers understand that this is a new experience for most of us, it’s the same for them too! Just do what you can to be ready and you’ll be a Zoom interview expert in no time.
If you would like to learn more about how to best prepare for your upcoming interview try booking a consultation today: https://book.elevatecareeradvice.com/
Or else if you are interested in listening to some career stories from some of the world’s business leaders try tuning into our podcast The Career Scoop: https://open.spotify.com/show/6ovoSREON7sPjTtxuSU13N?si=sh-Zk1-PSjGfDsLtX3yo2Q