Remote Interviews

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have experienced unprecedented demand for their products or services. Some are actively recruiting, and have had to find new ways to conduct the process that are considered safe for interviewers and interviewees alike. Many have turned to remote interviews through video-conferencing apps like Skype or Zoom.

The ‘rules’ for remote interviews are generally the same as for face-to-face interviews. For example, you should dress appropriately – and that means from head to toe. You might think you can get away with wearing pajama bottoms, but it’ll probably make you feel less professional—and it’ll show. It’s also more or less guaranteed that you’ll forget and go close the door to keep the cat out. You should also ‘arrive’ on time, which means being prepared, checking your technology ahead of time and connecting to calls a few minutes early. Obviously, you should also engage with the interviewers.

Finally, don’t forget to remove distractions. Turn off your phone if you’re using a laptop, and turn off notifications if you’re using your phone for an interview.

However, there are some important differences.

First, be alone. The internet is currently full of horror stories about people who have parents or friends sitting next to them answering them in remote interviews. It’s obvious, even if you’re too quick to mute and unmute yourself. You will be able to manage better—and present yourself as you are—if you are yourself and answer for yourself.

Second, choose your venue and your background wisely. Your bedroom may be your only private space – but think about what you’re showing your interviewers. A neutral location is best if possible. An artificial background can be fun, but does it really convey the right impression?

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