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How to ace your next remote interview

If the Covid-19 pandemic taught us something, it is that (almost) anything you can do in person, you can do from the comfort of your own home. After the Covid pandemic hit us, the remote became the new normal, and companies around the world had a pleasant surprise: working remotely is not only possible, it is more cost-effective.

On this note, remote interviews for jobs became more and more common, and while many people prefer in-person interviews, remote interviews are proved to be more convenient for both hiring managers and candidates, and are the easiest and smartest solution to situations where a candidate is in a different geographical location or there are social distancing concerns. 

Stating the obvious, a virtual or remote interview is just an interview that takes place remotely, often using technology like video conferencing. However, although the interviewer's questions are likely to be similar to the in-person interview ones, there are a few differences between interviewing in-person versus interviewing virtually. 

First of all, interaction is definitely more challenging in Zoom meetings, as things like gaining trust, paying more attention, and picking up body language are harder to do through the screen. Therefore, prospective employees need to be able to communicate effectively during a remote interview to demonstrate they can work effectively with remote team members in the same context. 

Now, let’s be honest, no matter the format, applying to a new job is a stressful and challenging process. It’s easy to get rattled by a high-stakes job interview, thus it’s also normal to let the jitters get in your way, maybe the answers you gave were completely off the mark, or you entirely forget to include a key piece of information about your experience that could be the key to getting the job.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. We prepared this short guide so you can let the nerves outside the door and ace your next remote interview.

Be prepared 

Like in a regular in-person interview, the most important thing you can do to succeed is to be well prepared for any question the interviewer might throw at you. So remember, the job interview process doesn’t begin when the camera starts, you should start researching and preparing for it as soon as you get invited to an interview. Start by building your research on the data found in your initial application to the position and make notes of how your experience can be applied to the role you are applying to. 

Also, don’t forget to research the company and its culture. You need to make sure you understand what they do and be aware of any relevant content from their careers page or handbook if it’s public. If you can, find out about the investors,the team, and make sure you understand the size of the company. You need to be able to communicate clearly why you want to join the organization, how the company mission resonates with you, and the value you will bring.

Test your technology beforehand

This is short but sweet advice, consider a 10-minute window of spare time before the interview and make sure your devices and apps are working correctly. It's important that you test your technology a few times by double-checking your wifi connection, camera and audio, and video conferencing platforms to confirm they are all working seamlessly. 

Present your best self

We know, it might feel kind of weird to wear formal attire in your living room, but a remote interview is as important as an in-person one, so you need to treat it with the same level of gravity. Before your interview, put some thought into your attire and setting to convey professionalism in your interview while remote. 

You also shouldn’t neglect your background and environment. Unlike in-person interviews, virtual interviews will allow your interviewers the chance of an intimate glimpse into your personal life, so be sure you are showing a tidy and comfortable space for work. In this sense, a clean background like a wall behind you and good natural light usually works best. It is also worth making sure you’re in a quiet space and making sure you won’t be disturbed while you’re interviewing. 

Engage!

Although in a virtual interview there are a few (or more) miles between you and your interviewer, that doesn’t mean you can’t form a connection with the person on the other side of the screen. Let your personality shine through and bring your charming self to the game! In addition to showing your knowledge of the company and professional skills, it's also important to open up and show who you are as a person.

Remember to always look into the camera. Maintaining eye contact with your interviewer is a sign of confidence and respect, and the only way of doing this virtually is by looking into the camera as you are speaking. This creates the illusion that you are looking at them directly. 

Last but not least, consider preparing some questions in advance and taking notes as you go through the interview. This will show that you are paying attention to what your interviewer is saying and asking the right questions can really demonstrate your interest in the role.

Be confident

Confidence is almost everything! The most important thing in a virtual interview is for you to be able to demonstrate effectively that you are the right person for the job, and the only way to do so is to be 100% confident of yourself and what you are talking about. Be aware of your body language; be sure to use proper posture, and maintain your head up throughout the call and focus. Also, remember to speak clearly. Do your best to enunciate when talking with the interviewer and pause after speaking.

If you are feeling anxious, try to practice what you intend to say in the interview and do some mock interviews with people close to you. It’s also helpful to anticipate some of the questions the interviewer might ask you, and practice your responses. Think thoroughly of the answers and practice saying them out loud; this will help you feel more comfortable and boost your confidence during the interview.

After your interview process, remember to send your interviewer a thank-you note for their time; this will send a clear message of how committed you are to getting the position you are applying for. 

We also recommend you to treat yourself and relax, as stated in the beginning, a job interview, remote or not, is a stressful process, so don’t overthink your answers or doubt yourself, remind yourself you did the best you could and trust the process, if you are the right fit for the job, you’ll get it!

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Remote Work

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