How to Ace Remote Interview

Video interviews jumped to sixty-seven percent since the pandemic started in 2020. By January 2021, eighty-six percent of employers favoured digital interviews.

Are you on a job hunt or moving up in your career? Well, expect a digital interview as part of your hiring process. More than 50 percent of employers say they will continue to use video interviews even after the pandemic.

In this age of free and unlimited face times, a lot of applicants are still apprehensive about going through video interviews, and with good reason. Interviews per se are nerve-wracking, but add to it the stress of connectivity breakdowns, audio and video quality issues, and the discomfort of knowing you may not look video-friendly. 

So, to minimise your anxieties here is a curated list of pointers to consider before your next remote interview.

  1. Don’t think that because you are doing a video call, you don’t need to look professional. A casual look will not cut it. Sixty-two % of employers say that an applicant’s dress sense influences their hiring decision. 

Dark coloured clothes work best before the camera. 

  1. Video conferencing will not give you an excuse to be late. Be ready at least 15 minutes before the appointed time.
  1. Find a place within your location with a plain and neutral background. Ensure a distraction-free (noise from pets or people and put your phone on silent mode) and clutter-free space. 

Inform your family that you are going to get on a video call at a certain time. Place a note outside your room to remind them. Lock your doors. 

Do a trial run of your laptop set up. A trial run will allow you to check your connectivity, download and test the video conferencing software required by the employer, gadgets’ audio and camera quality to anticipate any technical issues that may arise during your interview.

Ensure your computer or mobile phone’s battery is full. 

Despite your technical preps, no one can predict what will happen on the day of your interview. Should there be technical hiccups, do not panic. Unless you are applying for an IT position, the interviewer understands it happens. But it could also be a way for an IT applicant to shine and show his troubleshooting skills. 

  1. Practice speaking before the camera. 

Better yet, make a video of yourself. And watch it to check for nervous mannerisms, filler words you use (like “Aaah,“ “Uhm,“ etc.), disturbing eye movements, and awkward gestures you unconsciously use. Make sure you stay within the frame.

Practice with a friend or a family member. Engage them in a mock online interview via Zoom, Skype, or Teams. Let them critique your performance. Doing this several times will make you feel more confident and less intimidated by the camera.

  1. Rehearse answering interview questions. 

After you have done your technical preps, prepare for the interview proper.

Always research about the hiring company. Note that it is not just you who get to be asked. You, too, can ask questions about the company such as the prevailing culture, how they measure performance, what is the next step in the hiring process, what team you will be working closely with, etc. 

Keep a copy of your resume, job description, or notes on the side for quick reference. However, you can also choose to share your screen. Ensure you remove personal files before sharing your screen and that you are very familiar with the technique to avoid delays or disruption in your conversation.

Disable all notifications and chats so they do not pop up on your screen during the interview.

Put together a list of interview questions, from the most common to the most offbeat. Prepare your answers and rehearse your delivery. Rehearsing your delivery is to make you sound natural and not cybernetic. Enunciate your words and speak slowly. 

The more comfortable you are answering the questions, the less possibility for you to stammer or fumble for words during the interview.

Remember, some hiring managers will try to ask weird questions to throw you off. Be prepared. Research these questions and study the reasons behind each question. The questions are to test your composure under pressure, test your creativity and critical thinking skills. You do not have to rush for an answer. Pause for composure, answer the question and smile. The hiring manager will appreciate your effort. 

TAKE AWAY

Do not lose yourself amidst all your preparations. Do not create another person. Be yourself with a little dazzle. Integrity is still the key! 

Virtual life is the new normal. Embrace it. Ace it.

I hope these pointers help you land your dream job. Please do not forget to let us know how you did! Share your story with us. 

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