After a solid resume and meaningful cover letter, what comes next is the interview for your remote job. HR and hiring managers prefer interviewing remotely for remote jobs as the work profile is also remote. After COVID-19, interviewing remotely has now become the latest trend. So before you go ahead, let's understand the meaning of remote interviews.
Remote interview meaning
"In remote interviews, the candidate and interviewer are located at different places. The remote interview process includes video conferencing through a stable internet connection and a good webcam. These interviews can be conducted over laptop and mobile both. However, laptops are more favorable for leaving a long-lasting impact."
By definition, it is clearly understood that remote interviews are online interviews conducted over a video call. More and more managers are interviewing remotely, especially during the initial remote interview process. It is mainly due to the immense benefits it offers. Remote interviews save time and money on the commute, and they serve the purpose well for both the interviewer and the interviewee. All thanks to remote interviews, you don't need to travel to another city for the sole purpose of the interview.
How remote interviews are different
|Interviewing remotely||Traditional on-site interview|
|Cost||Cost-efficient: All you need is a good and stable internet connection, a computer, a webcam, and an audible audio system||Cost-oriented: You need to spend on commuting, formal wear, and refreshments, etc|
|Time||Time-saving: It saves you the time spent traveling and waiting in the queue||Time-consuming: Long waiting hours accompanied by exhausting commute|
|Hiring Process||There can be a referral course||Solely performance-based hiring|
|Approach||Feedback is provided within a specific date/time||A hierarchical system is followed, and declaration of results takes time|
|Place||Anywhere as long as it is a silent place with a neutral background is favorable||Usually conducted in offices of companies|
|Interaction||Comfortable for candidates but can be hard to access body language for employers||Candidates need an appropriate attire and accompany it with proper body language and greetings. It is easier for employers to access body language and presence in an off-site interview|
|Presentations||If you are shy, you get the advantage of being more comfortable and away from dreading glares||Your presentation, communication skills, body language, and confidence get assessed|
The remote interview process has some challenges, such as power cuts, technical issues, and poor video quality. It is tougher to crack a remote interview than a traditional on-site interview. But with these tips, we assure you that you will ace your remote interview like a pro.
Tips that come in handy when interviewing remotely
Tips for an online interview- before the remote interview process
1. Choose your spot
While choosing a spot for your remote interview, the first thing to do is ensure that the place is distraction-free. There shouldn't be any unwanted distractions or sounds, such as people talking or machinery noises. These things reflect your negligent attitude.
For video interviews, prepare your own space that looks decent. Choose a place with a neutral background. Make sure you use a well-lit room that is in a place where there are no disturbances. While interviewing remotely, the managers consider these small details as signs of how you manage things.
2. Proper setup
Prepare a home office for yourself if you don't have one. The more professional you look, the better it will be. A dedicated workspace shows your seriousness regarding the work. It is a sign that you are a reliable person who does his job with determination. A proper setup includes-
- Removal of all the unnecessary things and decluttered workspace.
- Good lighting so that everything can be seen clearly.
- A table and a chair make you look presentable.
- A notebook and a pen so that you are ready for some written tasks.
Your workspace could also be the corner of your room, if you keep it that way. A proper setup shows you are highly organized and can manage things well.
3. Practice with everything
Once you are done setting up a workspace, the next step is practicing with everything.
- Check your background. No hiring manager would like to see a pile of laundry while interviewing remotely. Sit in the chair and examine your surrounding with a hawk's eye. If you find clutter, declutter it instantly.
- If any pictures behind you might hurt other people's sentiments, then take them off immediately.
- Check the lightning and then check how you look in the webcam. Then adjust the webcam accordingly.
Practice makes a man perfect, which is what you need. It shows that you know how things are done in the best way, which is a quality HR looks at while interviewing remotely.
4. High-quality microphone and webcam
No matter how good you are, you can never leave a good impression if your microphone or webcam is not functioning correctly. Low-quality mic or video quality will hurt your chances of getting the job. Imagine how frustrated the interviewer would be if he couldn't hear what you have to say while interviewing remotely.
Unclear video quality will lead to a wrong impression. While interviewing remotely, interviewers want to see and hear you. It is the only way they can judge your calibration skills.
5. Equipment testing
- Ask someone in the interview team regarding which software or application will be used for interviewing remotely. If you have that application, then good; if not, install it. Use and test it frequently to get a hang of it.
- A test run with a webcam and mic is a must. Check your sound through another computer. Make sure the camera placement is correct.
- Make sure you don't have a squeaky chair; otherwise, you won't be able to listen to what the interviewer has to say. Moreover, squeaking sounds will irritate the interviewer while he is interviewing remotely.
6. Look at the right place on the screen
- After you are done practicing everything, check the placement of the camera. An external camera is mostly placed in the center of the top of your screen.
- However, if you are using a webcam, you need to adjust your position or the laptop's position. For instance, if your laptop is at the same level as a desktop, you can keep it on a bed table or the books pile. This way, the webcam will be at your eye level.
7. Dress up
It is better to dress up than to be sorry. Wear proper formal attire in your video interview. What you wear is part of your presentation. How you dress up impacts your interviews. It represents how you present yourself in front of the interviewer.
Even if it is a phone interview, it is highly advisable for you to dress up. You never know when the interviewer might ask you to turn on the video!
8. Take care of other things
Apart from dressing up and technical setup, you must take care of several other things. Try and anticipate the potential problems and then fix them before they occur. For example-
- Ensure your system is completely charged or plugged into a source. Nobody likes mid-interview crises that arise from negligence.
- Close all unnecessary applications and software to avoid any disturbances. How would a WhatsApp notification sound during an interview? Yeah! Not an ideal thing.
- If you have pets, ensure they are in a separate room. Notify your family about your interview timings, so they do not hop in during the interview.
There are various other little things that you must take care of. Make sure to anticipate and prevent them from occurring.
Tips for an online interview- during the remote interview process
1. Be confident
You will be pretty nervous if it is your first video interview. But remember, if you have practiced everything, there is nothing to worry about. Your confidence should be loud enough to speak for you. A confident approach will help interviews develop trust in you.
2. Be ready 10 minutes before
Make sure you are ready with everything 10 minutes before your interview. Don't run for things till the last moment. Keep everything handy and enter the meeting 10 minutes before. After entering the meeting, test your equipment to see whether it works correctly. Being ready beforehand helps in relaxing your mind and body.
3. Body language
Maintain formal body language while the interviewer is interviewing remotely. Even while interviewing remotely, the interviewers check how you carry yourself.
- Sit upright with your head straight.
- Look into the camera and screen only. Do not look anywhere else, as it would give an impression of non-seriousness.
- Your sole concentration should be on the interview alone. Hence, keep your arms steady. Don't make any unnecessary movements.
4. Keep your resume handy
It doesn't matter if you have submitted a resume; you should always keep one with you. We advise you to keep a hard copy with you. Moving between multiple windows is very confusing and might disrupt your interview. Any disruptions such as video off, blurry video, and others are not liked by managers interviewing remotely. Hence, a hard copy of a resume is the most feasible option. Moreover, you can always write or underline something important and noteworthy.
How to stand out during the remote interview
1. Show that you understand their company
Nothing is more critical than a mutual understanding between the employee and employer. Employers always prefer candidates who understand the values of their company. It proves that you appreciate and can fit into their company culture without any issues. It means you understand what they do and are there to make an impact. Employers cherish such candidates who come prepared and confident.
2. Show that you are self-motivated
A self-motivated person is always eager to learn new things. Such people are solution-oriented and are always ready to take responsibility. They don't require motivation from other people. Instead, they take the initiative whenever and wherever needed. And who wouldn't cherish such employees? Self-motivation is essential and finding your creative side is one way of doing it.
Tips for an online interview- After the remote interview process
Follow-up after an interview can do wonders. It can help you make a significant impact as it shows your seriousness about the job. Follow-up emails show your determination and will to fight for the job.
What to do when there are technical difficulties?
Technical difficulties are not a new thing. They keep happening now and then, especially when you got something important on your plate. And remote job interviews conducted with constant technical issues might lead to a terrible impression. So, how to manage technical difficulties during an interview? Here are some valuable tips:
1. Switch to phone immediately
Make sure you keep your phone ready before the interview so that as soon as some technical failure occurs, you can always shift to the phone. First, apologize to the hiring committee and then request them to change to mobile.
- Set up the interview settings on the phone. Download the apps and permissions required. Don't panic and start downloading the application at the last moment.
- Keep your phone in silent mode. If possible, keep it on flight mode and connected to wifi so that you are not bothered during the interview call.
2. Write a thank you email to the interview team
Once you are done with the interview, thank the interview team for their time and efforts. It would be best if you thank them for considering you as a candidate and giving you this opportunity. It shows how courteous you are.