How to Master your First Remote Interview

Remote interview from laptop

Getting interviewed remotely through a video or phone call isn’t the same as getting interviewed in person. Employers are looking for the exact same skills and talent in their remote employees, and it is sometimes a bit trickier to express yourself with little nonverbal communication in a remote interview.
At 24 years old, I personally think I already have a lot of experience with both of them. Whilst I have had many face-to-face interviews for my internships and for my current Marketing job, I’ve also done close to 10 skype interviews (in only a month!) when applying for jobs in Scotland. So I know my fair share of remote interview tips and just overall interview ins and outs that I want to share with you. From setting up a perfect workspace and environment to acing your interview questions, keep reading to learn how to master your first remote interview.

1. Know the common interview questions

Even if it’s impossible to know the exact questions you are going to be asked in an interview, there are basic questions that come up in every single one no matter what position you’re applying for. You will want to know how to answer ‘what is your greatest weakness’ and how to show that you value yourself when they ask you ‘what are your salary expectations?’ My advice is to google what the basic interview questions and answers are so you feel prepared and avoid being put on the spot.

Also, take notes! Firstly, because your recruiter will be giving you valuable info on how your position works, how they want to proceed after the interview, etc. Secondly, because it looks professional and like you’re taking your remote interview seriously. I personally think taking notes on a notepad is better than on your laptop, as the sound of your typing can be distracting to the person on the other end of the call. But if you are planning on taking notes from your device, let your interviewer know, so they don’t think you are being impolite or not paying attention.

Taking notes on an interview

2. What remote interview software and tools are you going to use?

You will most likely be told what software and platform the interview is going to be carried out through. The most common platforms nowadays are Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Skype. And it’s not unusual to get a phone interview beforehand for a quick get-to-know-you interrogation. But more on precise phone interview tips later.

My number one tip for remote candidates is to be familiar with the above platforms and know-how to communicate digitally. Set up your laptop and download whatever tools you’ll need at least an hour before your interview starts. Also, make sure you have a decent internet connection! There is nothing worse than candidates (and employers) having little to no Wi-Fi and you not being able to hear them properly because the video keeps cutting off mid-sentence. And, let’s face it: how are we meant to give a good impression if this happens on our first remote interview? No matter how much preparation you’ve put into the interview, if your interviewers can’t understand you, you’re cooked.

3. Set the stage

Try to find a quiet space away from any loud noises. Also, executive recruiter Jennifer Johnson states that if possible, you should position yourself so that there’s a blank wall behind you. One of the main tips for a successful remote interview is that your face should be the main focus on the screen and your background should not be cluttered with decor or distracting items.

Check the audio and mic

Do a practice call with a family member or friend to ensure the audio is high quality and that your microphone is working. Learn how the muting and unmuting button works especially if there’s going to be more than one recruiter in your video interview. You will most likely have to unmute yourself every time someone speaks to avoid any background noise.

Woman on a remote interview

Light from the front!

One of the best remote interview tips I can give you is to aim for natural light! If your interview is in the afternoon and it’s dark outside or if you opt for a space that doesn’t have much natural light, then place a lamp or any sort of lighting one foot away in front of you. You want the recruiter to be able to see your face and expressions and not being able to see you clearly might set up a creepy and unprofessional vibe.

4. Phone interview tips

Whilst you should also take note of the above tips for phone interviews, there are some additional aspects to take into consideration if your remote interview is going to be done through a phone call. First, speak clearly! If on video interviews your recruiter can pay attention to your facial expressions and other nonverbal signs to evaluate your personality, on phone calls you only have your tone of voice to help you!

Also, take advantage of the situation and, when preparing for a phone interview, create a cheat sheet of questions and answers you can have in front of you during the call. Looking down on a sheet of paper is trickier when you’re on a video call as it can look unprofessional if done indiscreetly. But on a phone call, nobody will notice!

5. Send a Thank-you email after your interview

A follow-up email after an interview, whether it’s in person or a remote interview, is crucial to get the job. Most people forget to follow-up or thank their interviewer for taking time off their day to chat with them and consider them for their vacancy. These emails are also your weapon to outperform other candidates that probably have very similar qualities to yours and could be chosen instead of you. Make sure you send your thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview and that you reiterate your interest in the job offer. That will definitely set you apart from the other candidates!

Keep reading: 17 motivational quotes for a fruitful career

1 comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Merely Motivated • Theme by Maira G.