Your CV is great as it will ever be! You have memorized your elevator pitch, you can answer all the tough and unique questions, as well as how to express your weaknesses as strengths!
You have also perfected your handshake to exuberate confidence and determination. Only thing, you will not need to shake anyone’s hand. The job you are applying for is a remote one, and so is the job interview!
This is what may bring you apprehension. We are all trained to prepare for an in-person job interview, but what about a virtual interview?
Just as an in-person job interview gives the interviewer an impression of how you would perform on the job, a virtual interview shows how well you can work remotely.
Before doing anything: ensure that your Internet speed and connectivity are reliable. If they are not, how can your potential boss trust that you can work remotely?
Now, how does one ace a remote job interview? Here are 3 essential steps to take.
1. Prepare Your Surroundings
Prepare your surroundings in advance of the interview. And make sure you finish that coffee beforehand!
This is the big one and what most people will forget about! If you are going to be on a video call – your interview will notice your surroundings. An ideal location is your home office. Another alternative could be a private/conference room in a co-working space.
If in your bedroom, be at your desk and have your bed and anything else out of view. Any background distractions which may be on your wall should be removed.
And if you have an impressive bookshelf – there is no harm showing it off in the background? Isn’t that one of the advantages of having a full bookshelf?
Other guidelines to follow are:
- Make sure the room is well-lit. You do not want the interviewer does not have to squint to see your distinguishing features! The best solution is to have the light aiming from behind your laptop. Excessive lighting should be avoided.
- Your environment should consist of you and your interviewer. Do not be in a busy coffee shop (save that for when you start working!) or in your living room as your family, friends, roommates roam around. Be in a private area!
2. Dress The Part
We have all heard that the advantage of being a remote worker is working in your underwear at home or working while lying on the beach. But this does not work for a video call!
Depending on the company, professional or casual attire will be appropriate.
While you may have an interviewer who prefers an audio call, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Here are some tips:
- Study the company’s culture to see how you should present yourself. Many remote companies have an easygoing dress code – business casual is fine and some may even be okay with a t-shirt and jeans. However, if you work for a big multinational which allows you to work remotely – it is best to stick to business professional. Regardless of the dress code, make sure you are looking your best.
- Your clothing should not be distracting. Your focus should be on presenting yourself and your ideas.
- Don’t slouch or appear overly relaxed. Your posture should exuberate your confidence – the interviewer will notice otherwise.
- And of course, do not be sitting in your underwear. Just do not do it!
3. Be Direct In Your Communication
Just as you would in person, ensure that you are directly communicating with your interviewer.
When speaking to someone through a computer screen, speak to them as if they were sitting across a desk from you. Whether your interview is a video or an audio call, the same guidelines apply:
- Project your voice as needed. Imagine that you are inches away from your interviewer. You want to ensure you do not mumble. Conversely, you want to make sure you do not shout as if you were proclaiming your qualifications from the Swiss Alps!
- If on a video call, be conscious of your body language and your facial expressions. The interviewer will notice if your eyes are wandering or if you appear standoffish.
- Look at the interviewer: make sure you are looking at the interviewer directly. To do this, ensure that your laptop’s webcam is aimed at your hairline – best is to place it on a raised laptop stand. To look at your interviewer, look into the webcam. Also, sit a few inches away from the laptop so that your facial features do not get exaggerated.
That’s it! If you have had your share of job interviews, you will find that impressing your interviewer virtually is no different from doing it in person. The main thing is to ensure that you show yourself as not only a skilled worker but a skilled remote worker.