Since companies are interviewing remote due to COVID-19, here are some suggestions on how to prepare for your upcoming interview! Being comfortable and professional are key to standing out. Because you can no longer make an impression face to face, there are ways to stand out while being remote to make that first impression last!
Location Is Important
Before you begin your remote job interview, it is crucial to pick an environment that you feel comfortable in as well as practical. In other words, the couch is a safe, comfortable spot, but is it practical? No. You want to be in a space that imitates professionalism. Setting up a space that replicates an office is a great approach. The areas lighting is essential too because the interviewer wants to put a face to the resume that you submitted. If the room is too dark and your electronic device is just lighting up your face, this can be a distraction. Also, if the sun is shining, it can be overpowering. Natural light is great, but make sure you test out the rooms ambiance before the interview starts!
In addition, the angle of your device during the interview is something to consider when choosing a location. What do you want to be seen within your camera’s lens? Lastly, be conscious of wall decor. If the piece on the wall is bright or big, the interviewer’s eye is immediately drawn to it instead of you.
Public places may not be the best location for multiple reasons. The major one is, background movement. It can be very distracting for the interviewer to focus on what you have to say if there is movement constantly in the background. Next, is internet connection. Often times when utilizing public Wi-Fi, it is not the strongest connection due to many users’ devices being linked to it. Finally, background noise can overpower you. There is nothing worse than not being able to hear what you have to say because of constant noise in the background. Even if you have headphones in, those can collect unwanted noise. Be aware of these factors!
Now that you have picked a comfortable spot to settle into for your interview, we are going to discuss body language. We recommend sitting in a chair. This will allow you to have good posture, and display attentiveness during the interview. Your body expressions are just as important because this will allow the interviewer to see that you are fully engaged, not to mention, showing off a little of your personality. Remember to smile!
Avoid Taking Notes on Laptop During Interview
Minimizing distractions is crucial. Creating a ‘split screen’ to take notes on one side while you interview on the other or just having your notes blocking the video platform you are using is not ideal. You want to be able to maintain eye contact with the person interviewing you. This allows you to really participate even though you are not right next to him/her. Furthermore, when you can see them, you are more conscious of your body language and expressions.
Instead of taking your notes virtually, we suggest having paper or a notebook paired with multiple pens/pencils. The initiative of this action portrays a sense of professionalism as well as reflecting the same idea as if you were present in-person.
To be the most confident and stress free, check your electronics before the interview takes place. This does not mean 10 minutes before scheduled either. Give yourself time to make sure your device is charged. If you are using headphones, locate them, and either plug them into your device or have them right next to it. If they happen to be wireless headphones, make sure they are charged and properly connected.
Remember the overall purpose of the interview has not changed. In other words, the interviewer wants the interview to go smoothly and for you to be a great candidate even though the process has shifted to virtual. Additionally, going virtual has accelerated the process for many companies. Availability is more common amongst candidates due to a remote schedule from the pandemic. Being able to squeeze in an interview is possible now because there is no travel time to consider. This is a great new positive situation for both the candidate and client.
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