- With remote rather than face-to-face interviews, there are different factors to consider.
- Firms are shifting to remote or hybrid models, so it’s more likely your interview will be online.
- Here are eight tips to help you prepare for a job interview from home.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A considerable number of companies are shifting towards remote and hybrid working models.
Naturally, it’s likely that, if you’re being interviewed for a remote role, your interview will be conducted online, too.
To make the most of interview opportunities, you need to take different factors into account before undergoing an online interview.
Here are eight tips to help you prepare for a job interview from home.
1. Make sure your tech is working
The last thing you need during an online interview is for your laptop or tablet to start playing up.
The distraction of malfunctioning hardware will only make you feel more nervous.
Not only that but, even if a glitching device isn’t your fault and it will happen from time to time, it may cause a prospective employer to wonder whether it may be a regular occurrence.
Make sure to check your Wifi connection, that your devices are updated and working quickly, that you have a backup device in case your first choice fails, and make sure you have installed, updated, and know how to use the program on which your interview will be conducted.
From knowing how to change the volume on the software to ensuring your camera and microphone are connected, make sure you test everything out well ahead of the interview – it may even be worth testing this out with a family member or friend.
2. Think about the device you’ll use
The device you choose for your interview is incredibly important which you will carry out your remote interview is key.
You need to ensure your battery is charged up enough to last throughout the call and that your device allows you to be heard and seen clearly.
While you might want to prioritize the quality of your camera over the size of your screen, which will ensure your recruiter’s image of you is as clear as possible, it may be more comfortable for you to be able to see your recruiter more easily.
That said, if your best camera happens to be on your mobile phone, you could run the risk of looking unprofessional if you end up holding the phone at eye level.
In this instance, you could opt for an extendable arm as a temporary solution. You should also bear in mind that your connection may be worse on your mobile phone and that you may end up interrupted by calls.
His advice, first opt for the desktop computer or if not possible for a laptop.
And always leave your mobile nearby in case you need to quickly communicate with your recruiter due to a possible technical failure, but always silenced to avoid interruptions.
Also consider using headphones to optimize sound quality.
3. Go for neutral, well-lit background
The best space to conduct an online interview is a quiet spot where you can avoid awkward interruptions.
Make sure if you have kids, roommates, or pets that you close doors where possible to minimize disturbances.
It’s also essential that your room is as neutral and impersonal as possible, otherwise, your interviewer may get distracted – a carelessly made bed or a cluttered kitchen could even give off an unprofessional impression.
Go for a smooth, well-lit background – ideally, try to face natural light to avoid creating shadows or backlights.
Obviously, it goes without saying that your interview isn’t the time to be testing out filters – make sure, too, that the color of your background isn’t too similar to the color of your clothing, so you don’t end up disappearing into your background.
4. Think about camera positioning
Paying attention to camera placement is incredibly important during remote interviews.
You don’t want the recruiter to be distracted by an unnatural position.
It’s good to keep the camera at eye level so that when you look into the screen, it makes the person at the other end feel as though you’re addressing them and making eye contact.
It’s also important not to forget body language as it can reduce the sense of distance created by the remote setup. Essentially, you want to angle the camera to make sure you get some of your torso in the shot, too.
Making sure to use hand and arm gestures when you’re on-screen will help make the interview feel a lot more natural.
Other tips include how to position yourself for an online interview include not sitting too close to the wall and taking care of your posture so you don’t end up hunched over.
One way of ensuring you don’t end up hunching is to set on the edge of your chair, as it forced you to sit taller.
5. Dress up
Though working from home may make you feel comfortable, don’t get too comfortable – it’s still a job interview.
Your goal is to look as professional as possible at all times.
Forget sweatshirts and don’t be tempted to go for smart-up-top while still wearing your pajama pants; dress the same way you would if the interview was face-to-face.
Try to choose neutral tones (blue, black, and gray are those most recommended by recruiters) and avoid prints and stripes, only as they may appear distorted in the image.
6. Bolster your remote working skills
If you’re doing an interview from home, it’s likely that a lot of your work will be remote too.
That means that you need to demonstrate you have the necessary qualities to work competently as a remote employee.
Ensuring you touch upon self-discipline, communication skills, and initiative – all sought-after skills when working remotely – is crucial if you want to impressive your prospective employers.
Make sure to give clear and concise examples of how you’ve demonstrated your abilities, show interest, and ask sensible questions about the company and the role.
7. Practice giving your answers on camera
Though practicing ahead of an interview is a pretty basic piece of advice any recruiter will give you, making sure you’re used to the camera you’ll be working with will make a big difference on the day.
Make sure to prep the answers to those questions you know will come up and practice answering them aloud and on camera – whether it’s “Why do you want to work here?” or “Think of an obstacle and how you overcame it,” make sure to draft out your answers and practice saying them out loud.
Try recording yourself so you can watch your answers back and see what needs work.
Make sure, too, to pay attention to your posture, nervous tics, overusing certain fillers, and what you’re doing with your hands.
If you can, try to look your recruiter in the eye by looking into the barrel of the camera rather than looking at your own face or theirs
8. Take advantage of the remote setup
Although a distance interview has some drawbacks, it could also play in your favor.
The interviewer can’t see anything behind the camera or on the table.
Therefore, you can use it as an opportunity to leave notes in front of you just in case you need a bit of help at any stage during the interview process.
Use post-its to note down any relevant data you don’t want to forget, questions that might impress the recruiter, or phrases to jog your memory or switch to a different subject if, for whatever reason, you lose your train of thought.
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