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Tips for remote job interview

Things have changed a lot in the year 2020 due to COVID-19, especially the recruitment process. During this period, many businesses still had to consider employment decisions, so phone and video interviews have become a suitable option. In this post, we discuss the easiest way to be effective on your next online-interview.

Virtual Interview

Image for part: Virtual Interview

A virtual interview happens remotely over the phone and by using technologies like video conferencing and other digital networking channels. At a moment when social distancing has become the norm during this pandemic, both HR staff and candidates must learn how to manage the virtual interview framework. Hiring executives are continually thinking of ways to invest less time, resources, and money while also seeking the right fit for each of their job positions. At the same time, dozens or hundreds of candidates invest their own time, effort, and resources to convince prospective employers that they are the right choice for the job. Virtual interviews are a simple, inexpensive approach that satisfies the recruiting equation's requirements on both aspects.

Virtual interviewing, facilitated by means such as online video conferences, instant messages, and video chat, has served as an effective recruiting strategy for companies in several different disciplines finding eligible employees. The free, widely accessible web conferencing systems of Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom entail only a sprinkling of tech knowledge. Because of the limited capacity to interpret body language and facial expressions, interactive contact involves special requirements and changes.

Tips for mastering the virtual interview

It is essential to receive a first-level work interview to get employed. You can not advance towards a work opportunity without acting on it. It is your moment to separate yourself from the other candidates, showing that you are deserving of a second interview. Show your top-level performance, or you'll discover yourself excluded from the pool of viable applicants. Put yourself apart by expressing who you are as an individual.

You have already demonstrated in your cover letter, resume your qualifications, expertise, and job experience, which is sufficient enough to get to the first level of the recruitment process. Employers want to know if they should feel confident having you as part of their organization. 

Setup for Virtual environment

Start practicing by taking basic interview questions before your online interview, double-check your hardware devices and video conferencing programs, and walk through a mock interview with a relative or friend. Here's a rundown of aspects that you must take into account as you train and organize;

  1. To prevent trying to gaze at the camera while your online interview, soft lighting is ideal. The light is supposed to be shining on your face and coming from behind the web camera. Putting the light source behind you will make a shadow from the viewpoint of the interviewer and create difficulties to see your face and assess your idiosyncrasies.
  2. Your webcam must be at the level of the eye position it in a way so that the frame covers your head and shoulders. While giving your remote job interview note to look at the camera as you present your replies. Place a picture of your interviewer or the firm's logo to the side or next to your monitor if you have problems recalling this issue.
  3. Check your laptop's microphone and speakers before your online interview meeting. Pay attention to the noise, humming, and vibration that might disturb the interviewer or you. Use the earphones that come with your phone or a headphone with a mic if you are not satisfied with the integrated sound system of your laptop.
  4. Talking of disturbances, make sure to remove the auditory virtual interviewing potential problems of your home workstation, such as traffic noise screening from a window, mobile and desktop alerts and reminder tones, any kids and pets at home.
  5. Make sure that the copies of your cover letter, resume, professional portfolio, and any other work-related documents that you have provided during the process of applying are readily accessible and at hand. Jot down crucial details about your job record, teleworking experience, and work ethic, as well as queries for the interviewer, and place it on the computer screen where it is easy to refer. So that you can gently prompt yourself as fresh talking points emerge during your remote job interview.

As a remote employee you may need useful tips when working remotely, so here is a post on things to know when working remotely.

Technological Factors to consider for a remote job interview

At a basic level, remote-companies demand simple technical competence. The interviewers will examine to see if you are keeping up with developments in technology and systems that are necessary. You have to show your proficiency in technology to nail your interview and distinguish yourself from others in the pool of applicants. Here are some pointers to follow;

  1. Dig deeper and explore as much about the application as when the interviewer informs you about which software framework they will use for the virtual interview. Check online video guides that clarify the core mechanisms and glitches cohesively, review the software online, and ask for feedback from experienced peers or co-workers.
  2. Before your remote job interview, it's perfect to undergo this virtual interview technology quick lesson so that you'll look well-acquainted when it's time for your big moment, even though you're an amateur at virtual interviews.
  3. Develop one if you do not presently have a professional username for software applications you are going to choose for virtual-interviews. It is valuable to verify your identity as a viable competitor for the position.
  4. Also, do a complete assessment of your operating systems and devices an hour before your remote job interview. Keep track that the desktop or laptop has access to its power supply. By shutting off all applications that can pull back your power or delay your internet access, you wouldn't want any complications to turn up during your virtual interview. Ensure you have secure connectivity that doesn't run off internet service, wired in straight to your high-speed router. Next, cut sloppy cords and arrange your room for work.
  5. Perhaps if you are as ready as possible, but the sometimes technical issue may happen. If this situation appears, what will you do? Try to remain calm when met with such a technological error during your virtual interview. If the problem is not fixable easily, let your interviewer know that you're going to call back in a moment. Applicants that are easily perturbed by technology setbacks may be a warning sign for recruitment managers seeking to fill teleworking vacancies.

If you want to know more about remote jobs, then check out this complete resource on how to find remote jobs in 2021.

Dress Code for a remote job interview

Look as formal as you would for a face-to-face interview for your virtual-interview, of course, even your dress shoes. You might have never had to adjust your professional outfit again once you're employed, but dressing industry-appropriate, formal corporate attire lays the groundwork during a video interview. You'll feel more confident, you will perform formally, and your interviewer will observe the distinction.

  1. Keep in mind when planning your remote-job interview outfit, and consider these factors:
  2. Do not wear bright white shirts or flashy accessories that can evoke glaring.
  3. Don't wear something that matches your background or contrasts with it. 
  4. Avoid wearing a dress that shows distracting prints or designs.
  5. Make sure your face doesn't reveal any dry skin on your forehead or nose.
  6. You would like to look presentable from top to foot if you do have to even get up from your chair during your remote-job interview.

Etiquettes To follow during remote-job interview

If you were to interview on-the-spot with a greeting, launch your online interview exactly, in the same way. You can not shake hands, but you can accept your interviewer appropriately. As you present yourself and note that you're pleased to meet them, welcome your virtual interviewers with a respectful gesture to your camera.

State 'Excuse me' if you have to sneeze or cough during your remote job interview. Well, you are not with the interviewers in the same place, so this small act tends to depict an image of who you are as an individual and the ways you have attained.

Besides that, it is hard during virtual interviews, prevent updating your mobile alerts, messages, emails, and contact lists. This small gesture is to indicate a social courtesy, which reflects that you understand how to allocate and concentrate on the most significant things. Do not eat anything or chew gum as it isn't sought-after in any interview environment, be it face-to-face or online.

The Virtual Interview Components

When answering the interviewer's questions, take time before replying. Some businesses schedule their virtual interviews with the assumption that it will take applicants as long as 15-30 seconds to collect their views, with an additional two minutes of response time per question necessary. If you want to elaborate on a topic more, you'll be impressed by a simple phrase such as If it helps, 'I can offer detailed information.'

In the context of a well-positioned narrative that highlights your individuality and relevant expertise, you can reflect your specific style. Remember the analysis you've performed on your prospective employer, that you understand what they're like and what they're waiting for their recruit to be able to do. Demonstrate to them that you can achieve it.

If you fail at all during your responses, try to link to the notes outlining your core skills and queries you might have for the interviewer on your computer. You have a right and duty to request responses to questions that relate to you, and the interviewer will acknowledge your effort and planning.

If you are new to the concept of remote work, then here is a blog post on things to know when working remotely.

Fundamentals of remote-job interview for the interviewer

The interviewer employing remote job interviews to trim down the number of candidates they may be interviewing will obey all of the above guidelines for setting up their space for the interview, managing the technological requirements, and posing and conducting themselves appropriately on screen. In fact, in each zone, there are a few unique techniques that will assist the interviewer with their aspect of the interview. 

Ensure that the room looks tidy if you are interviewing from your office. Alternatively, arrange a meeting room you can use and properly organize your resources if you are functioning from an on-site workplace or co-working area. You describe the business to the job applicants that you will interview online, so you must make an impressive first impact. If you do not make the same initiative, you must not ask candidates to look presentable. Remember to bring your better version forward on the times you engage in virtual interviews. Keep in mind that your outfits are not wrinkled or dirty, and dress in a formal way that fits your area of job. A simple equation here is if you expect the job applicant to formally dress and act, the same goes for an interviewer or hiring manager.

As an interviewer, you should be the first one to greet the applicants, warm and friendly. For the interview, establish the rules. State clearly, whether you've sent out pre-work and want interviewees to justify their responses. Begin with simple and basic questions to support the candidates to develop their comfortability with the tools, the circumstance, and with you.

It is useful to personalize the interview by sharing a little bit regarding yourself, your history, and your role and engagement with the organization. You may also say more about the applicants, that when doing your exploration, caught your attention. Setting up a connection at the beginning with the applicant provides a better interview process.

Just like a candidate, examine their prospective employers and the sector in which they want to apply so that they can respond to the interviewer's questions. In the same manner, the recruiter has to prepare for the queries or concerns raised by the applicants. As a remote work interviewer, with relation to the non-discriminatory, legal scope of questions, you must understand what the HR department wants from you. And make sure you have disclosure documents ready. If you are capturing the interview, then let the candidates know whether the recordings are audio-visual or audio. 

The core purpose of a virtual interview in step one is to build relationships with the candidates. It is the moment to screen out the applicants with the best technical credentials that seem to be willing to blend with your organization's overall workplace culture as well. Include considerations such as the following during the remote-job interviewing process:

  • Do you consider this applicant will suit the firm well?
  • Can you foresee that the applicant can serve the business?
  • If the applicant lacks any professional expertise but has the attitude and work ethic that you are looking for, are you ready to train the candidate?

Check out this list of 500 remote-friendly companies.


The best option for businesses to do is to use a virtual interview to slim down a list of applicants whose credentials and backgrounds are outstanding. Digital technology advancements have made this platform a viable choice for companies who appreciate remote jobs. Strategic management and the use of a proactive plan to get the best out of the virtual interview will help interviewers and prospective workers.

We have a comprehensive guide on definitive guide for remote job hiring.

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