Already put together a relevant CV and shown the company you want to work for how motivated you are, with successful results? Congratulations! The next stage will therefore be the job interview. It's today quite common for the initial interview to be conducted remotely. This is because employers and recruitment agencies are increasingly turning to virtual recruitment. The process itself is not very different from a physical interview: the company still essentially wants to know whether you are the right candidate for them. And of course, you want to find out if the company is right for you. However, there are some aspects that are different, and it's important to be properly prepared for this.
Though the actual interview structure will normally be exactly the same as a physical face-to-face interview, you will need to take certain specific steps to ensure you make the best impression possible and maximise your chances of success when being interviewed remotely.
Preparing your physical surroundings for a remote interview
A quiet space
As with any interview, you need to prepare in advance. It won't be necessary to work out the best way to get there or plan where to park, but you will need to prepare the environment in which you're going to be located during the interview.
No matter whether it's a phone interview or a video interview, make sure the interview takes place in a location free from distractions. The last thing you want are the sounds of children arguing or the noise from your neighbour's lawnmower in the background. You also need to make sure you won't be interrupted.
A neutral location
If it's a video interview, there are some additional things you'll need to do when preparing your space. And even if you're certain there won't be any video involved, these measures will still contribute to creating a more professional atmosphere that will help put you in the right frame of mind. Your home office space does not need to be a separate room with its own door. It can simply be a quiet corner of your living room or a space on the kitchen table.
Anywhere you can work without being distracted can serve as a home office. Make sure the area visible on the webcam is neutral and neatly organised: dirty washing up in the background instantly makes things look untidy. One last thing people tend to forget about is the lighting! Carry out a test with your webcam to make sure you have the right amount of light on you. The advantage a video interview offers over a telephone interview is that both you and your interviewer can see each other. This makes it easier to read and interpret body language.
However, if you are not well lit, or if the light is too bright, you run the risk of losing this advantage.
Deciding your set-up for a remote job interview
Choosing the equipment
Use both a good quality webcam and a good quality microphone. Though it might not have much to do with how well qualified you are for the post, using a bad quality webcam or microphone during a remote interview can nevertheless damage your chances of getting the job. Imagine how you'd feel if you were interviewing a candidate and could hardly hear them throughout the entire interview. Similarly, a low quality webcam creates the impression that you're not performing at your best. Recruiters want to be able to see and hear you clearly and easily.
Be sure to properly test your set-up before the interview takes place: find out how the software or tool used by the company works and try it out. Make sure it functions properly with your equipment. If it doesn't, make the necessary changes or adjustments. It's a good idea to carry out a test with your webcam or telephone to check for intrusive or annoying noises, such as a squeaking chair for example.
Though not normally a major issue in a face-to-face or telephone interview, this kind of thing can nevertheless distract the interviewer. Worse still, if the noise is identified as coming from your side, there's a chance your interviewer's microphone will cut out and you won't be able to hear what they're saying.
Armed with these tips, you'll now be ready to face your next remote interview with complete peace of mind.
So why not get yourself fully ready and prepared for the interview itself by reading our special article aboutthe mistakes to avoid when being interviewed for a job?
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