8 tips on how to prepare for your remote interview

Published on: 6/18/2020

Your CV got you through and you've made it to the interview(s). That's awesome! Here's some tips on how to handle them without breaking a sweat.

1. Be alone in a quiet room

A quiet room is important to make yourself heard. If there's background noise while you speak, it will distract your listener which instead of focusing on what you have to say will be focusing on your dog. You should also be alone. You want to look at the person interviewing you and pay attention, you don't want your attention being drawn as someone sits up, enters the door or signals you something.

Besides, this also shows how future meetings with you might look like. This was a planned meeting, so you should be able to ensure the proper setup for it. 

Also, make sure the lighting is good and the background is professional.

2. Wear clothes

All of them. Don't assume that because you're sitting you only need a shirt.

And dress professionally. Even though the interview is remote, it's still important to dress professionally to make a good first impression. Dress in the same way you would for an in-person interview.

3. Make sure you have a headset and that it works properly

Avoid using laptop or webcam microphones. The quality of the sound will be terrible most of the time, and that will not play into your advantage. Use a headset, and test it beforehand, ensure that the sound quality is good.

Also, make sure you have a stable internet connection, a functioning microphone and camera, and that the platform you’ll be using (such as Zoom or Skype) is installed and working properly. Test everything before the interview to avoid any last-minute technical difficulties.

4. Double check the time zone

The easiest way to avoid timezone issues is for the recruiter to put the interview on the calendar. Calendar applications automatically handle timezones and will display the invite in your local time. However, if the recruiter doesn't send you a calendar invite, and only mentions a date and time, without specifying a time zone - make sure you confirm it with them. Some recruiters will use their own timezone when communicating, others will make an extra step and communicate in your local timezone. 

As an additional bonus, this shows the recruiter that you care about the interview, about being on time and that you pay attention to detail, that you know how to plan ahead. These small things can go a long way when choosing between two candidates that did similar in their interview. They make a good impression, and can unconsciously sway the decision in your favor. 

5. Ensure all necessary interview details are specified

Usually, the interview invitation or confirmation email will contain all the necessary details, such as the date and time of the interview, the interview platform, and the interviewer's name. Check the invitation you received to ensure those details are there, and if not, make sure you clarify them before the interview.

6. Prepare for common interview questions

Prepare answers to common interview questions such as “tell me about yourself” and “why do you want to work here”. Think about your strengths, weaknesses, and relevant experience.

Also, research the company and the role you’re interviewing for in advance. Take a look at the company’s website, social media profiles, and any recent news articles. This will help you prepare thoughtful questions to ask during the interview.

7. Be ready to take notes

Have a notepad and pen ready to take notes during the interview. This will allow you to jot down important information and remember key points.

8. Be on time and be yourself

Make sure you log in to the interview platform a few minutes early to ensure everything is working properly. During the interview, be yourself and answer questions honestly. Smile and maintain eye contact to establish a connection with the interviewer.