Even before COVID-19, remote job interviews were becoming more and more common. Many companies were doing video screening to interview candidates from far away or to save the candidate the time of having to come in. In the age of COVID-19, online remote job interviews have become even more common. As companies went virtual, they put more of their hiring processes online.
So, how can you prepare for this new way of doing things and nail an online interview in the days of Zoom and virtual meetings?
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a remote job interview so you can impress hiring managers and land the job while going through the interview process online.
#1) Make sure you have a reliable internet connection.
If you can’t access the internet to attend the interview, your potential employer might think you aren’t interested or reliable. If your internet goes out mid-call, you will spend several minutes trying to log back on, creating a bad impression. If you are concerned about your internet reliability, consider holding the interview at a friend’s house or at your local library.
#2) Find a place that is quiet and well-lit.
Before the interview, choose your location carefully. Pick a place where you can concentrate (without kids and other people around) and that is quiet. If there is too much background noise, like outside traffic or people talking, your interviewer might not be able to hear you. Also, consider the lighting in your chosen interview spot. You want your interviewer to see you clearly so you can win over your new virtual team.
#3) Test the interview software before the call.
Once you have the conference link for the remote job interview, check out the software to see how it works. Do you need to download an app like Zoom or Skype? Make sure you know how to turn on your video and audio system on your computer and mute yourself. Consider asking a friend or family member to have a “test call” to make sure you can easily navigate the software.
#4) Dress to impress.
The pandemic created the “Zoom shirt” or a professional shirt you put on for a video call because no one can tell if you are wearing pants. In theory, the Zoom shirt is a way to be lazy while looking professional. However, for a job interview, skip this casual nature and fully dress to impress. Wear slacks or a pencil skirt and professional shoes. Comb and style your hair and wear makeup. Not only will you look good, but you will feel good during the interview process.
#5) Keep notes at your desk.
You don’t show up to an in-person job interview empty-handed. You bring copies of your resume, your portfolio, and other relevant information on hand. Follow the same preparation for a remote job interview. Keep notes on important information and facts nearby so you can reference them during the interview. (Just don’t let these notes distract you from answering clearly.)
#6) Bring a glass of water.
Make sure you have some water with you during your interview. You can place the glass off-screen and take sips when your interviewer is talking. Dry mouth is a common symptom that occurs when you are nervous. The water can help you stay calm and hydrated.
#7) Look into the webcam.
It will be tempting to look at different sources during the interview: the video of your interviewer, the video of yourself, the interview software, etc. Instead, try to make “digital eye contact” by looking into the video camera. This will make it look like you are looking right at the interviewer.
#8) Practice answering common interview questions.
Prepare for your remote job interview as you would an in-person interview. Practice answering interview questions clearly and professionally. The Muse created a list of 46 common interview questions, ranging from the generic, “tell me about yourself,” to the specific, “tell me about a time you made a mistake.” Consider meeting with a close friend to review these questions. They can ask them, and you can respond. You don’t need to memorize your responses (and shouldn’t) but should become more comfortable at answering questions on the fly.
#9) Send a thank you note.
The thank-you card is just as important in a remote job interview as an in-person one. You can send a physical card once the interview is done, send a quick email to your interviewer after, or consider sending a virtual thank-you card to add some color.
Prepare for a Remote Job Interview With CareerSource
A remote job interview might feel a little strange, but in many ways it’s similar to an in-person meeting. Prepare for it as you would for an in-person meeting and add these extra prep tips to help you feel comfortable and confident.
For more tips on changing careers or working toward your dream position, check out the career seeker services and virtual workshops at CareerSource Central Florida. We have a variety of resources to help with interviewing skills, resume writing, choosing the right career, and more.
Request your appointment today to see how we can help you with your job search.