Remote work has been the most significant change in the working environment since the technological revolution. Getting an interview for a remote position has become more common for workers around the world.
A remote interview is not very different from in-person interviews, as its primary purpose is still the same. The company wants to figure out if you are the right fit for them, so this is still something that you expected to prove on a remote job interview.
However, remote interviews are not exactly the same, which means that you might face a couple of challenges that you wouldn’t have to think about when it comes to a regular interview. As such, it’s important to take a couple of steps to make sure that you make the best possible impression on your remote interview.
Preparing the Space for the Interview
When you go to a traditional interview, you don’t have to worry about how the space you are going to present to the potential employer looks like. This is one of the main challenges of interviewing remotely, and it’s vital to choose your spot wisely, whether you are taking part in a phone interview or a video one. It’s essential to make sure that your interview will take place in a room where you are alone and distraction-free. Nobody wants to deal with the sound of the dogs barking or children fighting when they try to impress a potential employer.
Phone interviews are easier because you don’t have to spruce up your working space. Still, if the company you’re interviewing for insists on a Zoom or Skype interview with video, it’s essential to present yourself professionally. If possible, have the interview in an area of the house that you have transformed into a home office because this will show the person who interviews you that you are serious about your job.
The space that you’re presenting to the potential employer should be as clutter-free as possible, and you should also make sure that you check your background carefully by sitting in your chair and turning around. Everything that could be visible on a video interview should be professional, so make sure that there are no empty soda cans or piles of dishes behind you. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to have personal objects showing, but make sure that they are the kind that no one might find objectionable.
Finally, make sure that you silence your phone and close any unnecessary programs on your computer to avoid getting distracted by any notifications. Make sure that you give the interviewer your full attention and participation by not checking on other tasks or emails during the interview, as this is a sure-fire way to make a bad first impression.
Testing Your Equipment
Every company has a preferred program for remote interviews, so find out which one they are going to use before the meeting and test it out. This is especially important if you have never used that particular program before. It allows you to get accustomed to the main commands you might need to use during the interview. For example, one of the essential functions you need to master before the meeting is how to mute your mic quickly if something unexpected happens in your home.
Besides software, you should also make sure that your webcam and microphone are working and conduct a test run to check for noises on your end, which might be annoying getting an interview. During a remote interview, it’s essential to make sure that you can hear what the other person is saying, so test the volume to find a level that you’re comfortable with. It’s always a good idea to test any new hardware or software by making a call to a family member or friend.
Besides making a good impression on your potential employer, dressing
appropriately for a remote interview will also put you in the right state of mind. You don’t necessarily need to wear a suit, but you should be something that you would be comfortable wearing in an office. Even if its a phone interview, you should dress the part to get into the interview mindset and as a precaution, because sometimes the interviewer might want to switch to video.
Preparing to Answer the Questions
When it comes to the actual interview, you should expect to be asked questions specific to remote jobs. These may be related to your ability to stay motivated without an in-person supervisor, your ability to schedule and prioritize your work, and how you will deal with a time-sensitive project when the rest of the remote team is offline.
Interviewers might also want to know why do you want work remotely, and even if this might not be a question that is relevant to the job itself, having a good answer to this question will show your interviewer that you have given this career path a lot of thought and that you already have solutions when it comes to addressing the unique challenges related to remote work.
You should also expect to be asked about your previous experience working remotely, so if you have it, it’s always a good idea to mention it. If you don’t have any previous remote work experience, you shouldn’t panic, because there are still ways to show your interviewer that you are a right choice for the position, by mentioning any projects that you might have completed away from the office, or any freelance work that you might have done in the past. When preparing for a remote interview, it’s essential to keep calm and treat it like any other interview. This means that you need to be well prepared, whether it’s your first virtual interview or not, and focus on impressing your interviewers with your experience.