There’s nothing more nerve racking than an interview. The first time I snuck away from work for a remote interview was surprisingly easy. I didn’t have to call in sick or dodge suspicious looks from HR; I just went to work as usual and took my lunch break offsite where I could have a more private conversation. The regular interview stuff I normally stressed about was a breeze. That said, there’s a few other things I wish I’d known before hand.
If you’re getting ready for your first remote interview, here are 5 things you should know.
1) Make sure you clearly understand the time zones involved.
This is something you should always confirm with the contact who’s scheduling the interview. Most areas observe daylight savings, but it’s not standard everywhere. This can get really confusing when you’re working from different countries. Always request a calendar invite and confirm the times accordingly.
There’s nothing worse than missing an opportunity like this. Double check everything and always ask via email if anything looks confusing.
2) Smile, you’re on camera.
You’ll likely be on camera, so it’s important to prep your interview space. Take down any weird posters and make sure that the space is clean. If you can, find a friend who will run through a mock interview with you. They will let you know if the lighting and sound quality are good, or if anything needs to be moved out of the frame.
3) Prepare answers to the most commonly asked questions.
You know they’re going to ask you questions. Tough questions.
“During a job interview there’s usually always one question we hope we’re not asked. Whether it’s describing your weaknesses or a challenging work situation, some questions are designed to get you flustered, but if you prepare properly you’ll breeze right past.”
Take time to think about how you want to frame your answers. When you’re ready for what’s coming you’ll be less likely to trip up.
4) Pick something nice to wear.
You won’t be there in person, but you should still dress to impress. Find an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. It’s better to be overdressed and over prepared than the other way around.
5) Plan questions you want to ask.
Asking the right questions is what will make you stand out from other applicants. Ask about who you’ll be working with and try to get a clearer picture of what the expectations are. Always convey interest by using your opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. Prepare 3-5 questions and try to steer away from anything cookie cutter.
Pro Tips to Help Your Remote Interview Stand Out
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, we’re ready to take things to the next level! Here are some pro tips that will help make your remote interview stand out.
Pro tip 1: Have A Follow Up Strategy
When you finish your interview, you should have a clearly defined follow up strategy in place. Send a quick thank you email to your interviewer within the next day or two. Be ready to send a follow up inquiry about the job status within 1-2 weeks. Always make sure to ask what their time frames are at the end of the interview and plan your follow up strategy accordingly.
Pro tip 2: Define What You’re Looking For And How You Will Add Value
Interviews are exciting. It’s important not to lose sight of what you’re looking for and how you will add value to the role. When you come prepared with a clear idea of what that means, it’ll be easier to weave those ideas into your interview answers.
Pro tip 3: Research The Company
You want to have an idea of who you’re going to be working with before you interview with them. Check out online profiles, recently won awards, etc. Watching videos and reading through reviews will give you an idea of the tone of the company (and possibly the interviewers). Trust me, you’ll want a heads up if it’s common for your interviewer to drop an F bomb.
The interview might be over, but you’re still pretty far from the finish line. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Here’s a recap on the 5 ways you should prep for a remote interview:
- Ask for a calendar invite and confirm the time zone(s).
- Make sure your interview space is camera ready.
- Get ahead of the tough questions by preparing answers for them.
- No need to pop your collar, but you should dress sharp.
- Showcase your aptitude and interest by asking the right questions.
You made an awesome portfolio, drafted a cover letter, and now you’ve landed an interview. Congrats! You’re one step closer to securing a remote job. Any other tips or tricks we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!