How to interview remotely
With many of us working from home, virtual interviews have become a popular part of the hiring process. While the prospect of attending an interview remotely might seem daunting, we’ve put together our list of top ten tips to make the process much easier for organisations and interns:
1. Practice different platforms
There are a lot of different types of video conference software out there, including Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts, to name a few. Have a try of a few before to get familiar with what’s out there.
Practicing is also key to make sure you’re comfortable with the various features available. Having a dry run (or a few!) is a great way to iron out any problems ahead of running the real thing and testing the software.
2. Check your tech
We recommend having a headset and microphone that isn’t built-in to your computer or laptop handy for interviews. This offers a much more stable experience, helping to avoid pesky crackles or sound issues.
Slow Wi-Fi connections can also be troublesome, check out these tips if you need to boost your broadband speed. Using an ethernet cable could also be a good idea for a guaranteed connection.
3. Evaluate your set-up
In your practice interviews, also consider your background. Avoid sitting in places where the lighting is directly behind you or to the side, this can result in your face appearing shadowy. Instead, natural light in front of your face will ensure you’re well lit. You can also switch on an overhead light.
Sit somewhere you also feel comfortable and know you won’t be disturbed. Shutting your door and leaving a sign outside are good ways to signal you’re busy – as is letting the people you live with know when your interview is taking place.
4. Turn off notifications
Before the actual interview begins, make sure you’ve closed all your windows and silenced your phone and computer. Any notifications will be distracting and won’t reflect well professionally, even ones from your email. Do Not Disturb on Mac and Windows is a great feature for setting specific times to automatically turn on and switch off.
5. Have and take notes
Ensure you have your CV and any other brief notes you need to the side of your laptop to glance over when you need help. Having a clean sheet of paper to take notes on is particularly useful when tackling loaded questions and allows you to stay on track of what points you need to cover in your answers.
6. Consider your body language
Without being able to see each other fully, it can be hard to convey messages that you might signal through your actions. Alternative ways to communicate confidence include, sitting up straight, smiling and nodding. This also demonstrates you’re engaged and actively listening.
7. Maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is also crucial to signal attentiveness. Good ways of doing so are looking directly into the camera or at where the other person is on screen when talking. This also helps to maintains the spirit of a conversation.
8. Dress the part – fully
One of the best parts about video conferences is that you can often get away with wearing anything you want on the bottom. However, getting fully dressed for an interview can help mentally prepare you and get your mind into gear. Showing an effort signals you’re serious about this opportunity and can also offer a real confidence boost.
9. Follow up with an email
This is a great tip for any kind of interview. Sending a thank you email after, whether you conducted the interview or attended, shows that you’re appreciative of the time the other person took to attend. For interviewers, this might be a great chance to ask for feedback on your new interviewing method. For interviewees, this is a strong opportunity to make a final strong impression.
10. Keep calm if things go wrong
Sometimes, despite all our best efforts, technology can be temperamental and glitch. That’s alright! Keeping calm and having alternative contact details on hand will ensure you can still communicate with each other should anything go wrong. The rest of the conversation can take place over the phone or be scheduled for a later date.
Best of luck for any upcoming virtual interviews, if you have any tips of your own let us know on Instagram or Twitter!