The public health situation over the past few months has changed life for all of us. More interviews are now happening remotely, and there is a separate set of considerations to be aware of when interviewing in this format. Check out the pointers below to make sure you’re putting your best (virtual) foot forwards!
Remote interviews are still formal
Your preparation for a remote interview should look very similar to your preparation for an in-person interview. You still need to anticipate the same questions, go through the same grooming preparations, dress up in formal attire, and arrive on time. See our post from a few weeks ago for preparation tips.
Interview in a professional place
Not everyone has a home office, but you can still find a good place to interview at home.
Ensure that you are in a quiet, well-lit room with a plain background that will not be distracting during the interview.
1) If your room is not well lit, try to buy a table lamp that will ensure your face is well lit and the interviewer can see you properly
2) If your bed or other furniture can be seen in the background, invest some time in cleaning up your space and tidying up the day prior to the interview. Often the best option is to find a plain-coloured wall to sit in front of.
3) If you are living with family/friends, ask them to remain quiet for the duration of the interview to avoid any background noise and disturbances
Technology is a factor
Video interviews introduce many technological concerns. Make sure you have a strong, stable internet connection as you do not want the call to drop midway through the interview. Test your camera and microphone beforehand to make sure you look and sound your best. There are several free websites that can help with this. Consider purchasing a modest webcam and/or microphone to enhance your presentation. Also, take your interview from a laptop or desktop computer if possible. If you must use your phone, stabilize it firmly so it does not move around during the interview, and make sure your other notifications are turned off. No matter the device you use, make sure you are staying engaged and still making eye contact with the camera.
Check any power-cut schedules, and ensure that your interview is scheduled at a time when there are no power cuts. Make sure your laptop is fully charged the previous day. If you don't have a laptop, try to borrow one. You can use your hotspot to connect in case of an unscheduled power cut. You should also keep your mobile fully charged and use it to dial in, in case you are unable to use your laptop. However, please use a mobile phone holder during the interview, in the event you are unable to use other equipment.
Make sure to mute yourself when the interviewer is speaking. This prevents any unwanted noise and echo. You should only unmute yourself when you are speaking.
Remote interviews are new for both interviewers and applicants. Hiccups are inevitable, and interviewers understand that applicants are not fully prepared to deal with all the difficulties of interviewing remotely. So, if something goes wrong - such as the call dropping - stay calm and work with your interviewer to resolve it. Remaining personable despite any potential interruptions will demonstrate your composure and reflect well on you as an applicant, so stay cool!
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