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How to Crush a Remote Interview

Video interviews are becoming more common during this unique time of COVID-19 and social distancing. This is a great tool to utilize for both parties, especially if you are interviewing for an out-of-state position. Many find it can be more beneficial to have a virtual face-to-face interview as opposed to a phone interview. Both you and the employer are able to see each other and read key body language in somewhat of an odd situation.

Below are a few tips on how to prepare and have a successful remote interview:

 

Choose Your Space Wisely

  • Choose a well-lit area.
  • If the lighting in your space is insufficient, find a window with the light facing you.
  • Make sure this space is quiet and limit any possible interruptions.
  • Clear clutter or tidy up objects in the background. Try to keep your background as neutral as possible.
  • Position the webcam so that you are looking up slightly and centered on the screen. Prop up a device, such as a tablet or a smartphone to avoid holding during the interview.
  • If you wear glasses, adjust the lighting or camera to reduce glare. Also, clean your glasses before the interview.

 

Test Your Equipment

  • Check the stability of your internet connection.
  • Check that your webcam and audio are working properly.
  • Before the interview, download any programs through which the interview will be conducted (ie: Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts, etc.) so you can allow adequate time to troubleshoot any issues.
  • If you have a personal account already set up, check your username (that it is appropriate) and your privacy settings.
  • Do a test run the day before and the day of.

 

What To Do During The Interview

  • Stay engaged, upbeat, and maintain good posture throughout.
  • Making eye contact is as important as it is during in-person interviews.
  • When answering questions, try to look directly into the webcam. This helps align your gaze with the interviewers as opposed to looking slightly down to look at them.
  • When you are listening, it is okay to look directly at them on the screen in order to give your full attention.
  • Remember to nod and smile when appropriate. Even small hand gestures are okay but avoid fidgeting too much.

 

If Something Goes Wrong…

  • Don’t panic! Let’s face it, technology can fail for multiple reasons whether they are visually, audibly or even both.
  • Make sure you have the interviewers’ contact information so you can reach them for any reason.
  • If unexpected outside noise happens (plane, train, sirens, construction) apologize, explain and wait for it to end. Put your microphone on mute if necessary.
  • If unexpected inside noise happens (family, kids, pets) apologize and ask for a few moments to remedy the situation. Again, mute your microphone as you step away.

 

Additional Tips

  • Close out any other applications and turn off any possible notifications.
  • Turn your phone on silent or leave it out of the room to avoid distraction.
  • Have a copy of your resume on hand with a pen ready to take notes or write down any questions.
  • Dress professionally. Even if they only see your upper half, it is a good idea to wear the full, appropriate attire.
  • Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview.
  • Practice with friends or family a few times as it will feel more natural over time and during the interview.
  • Research the company and write down any questions you may have.

 

Also, we have a great article for you: Tips on Working with a Recruiter During Your Job Search… from a Recruiter!

For other tips on resume writing and formatting, check out our website feature on how to create a killer resume. It’s specific to clinical laboratory professionals, but many of the tips can apply to any industry.