Job interview: Tips for Nailing Your Remote Interviews as a candidate and interviewer
If you want to knock your virtual interview out of the park with a smooth and ideal experience then these expert tips are what you need! Whether you’re hunting for the right job or on the hunt for the right candidate as an interviewer, these success tips will get you the best result possible.
Create an ideal space
Two things that are always irreversible are – time and first impressions. The most important thing about a virtual interview is to ensure that the space around you is ideal for the interview to go positively.
While not everyone can have access to the perfect interview background, you can wisely choose a room or setting that is clean and simple. This helps in allowing you to minimize distractions and allows the interviewer to focus on ‘you’.
Recommendations by our human resource and hiring team for a smooth and ideal virtual interview include:
A webcam-equipped computer with a strong internet connection: For a proper interview with audio and visual
Distraction-void area: To minimize interruptions
Well-lit space: For ensuring you present yourself neatly
Provision to make notes either with a pen and paper or on your computer
Water: To keep you calm and hydrated
These are merely a recommendation to facilitate the process of a virtual interview. Therefore, if you do not have access to a webcam-equipped computer with a strong internet connection, do not panic. You can directly inform your interviewer well before the interview date and time and they will definitely look into other alternatives such as using a smartphone or a telephone.
Get versed with the software
There are over 50 different video conferencing platforms today. Thus, irrespective of your prior experience with video conferencing, there is a high probability that you are not familiar with the software being used for your interview.
So, you must try to use your meeting link or ID and log into the platform ahead of time and check:
The quality of your video
The quality and working of your audio
How to share screen and how to stop sharing
Set the stage
It is quite possible that you are giving your interview from the comfort of your couch with your pet snuggled up next to your feet. But despite being at home, dressing up professionally for a virtual interview is as important as it would be in a physical interview.
If you are stuck with answering “should I go formal or casual” then these pro-tips will help you finalize the ultimate outfit for your next virtual interview:
Comfort suits one and all: Dress comfortably and confidently
Dress based on the job: If you’re applying for the fashion designer role for a celebrity versus if you’re applying for the legal head of a corporate firm, your attire should match the expectations and spirits of the job
Stick to the classics: Try to go with neutral colors and formal clothes and do away with casual graphic t-shirts and tank tops
Beg your pardon?
Confidence and self-awareness are key to a virtual interview process. While your words will portray most of your confidence, your non-verbal communication will also go a long way in speaking about you.
A few simple tips to ensure that your non-verbal communication conveys the right message are:
Maintain eye contact with the camera .
Breathe and pause: It is alright if you need to pause and take a moment either because of technical issues or because you are thinking about an answer. Remember that it’s better to pause and gather your thoughts than blabber it out in a haphazard way.
Reduce the clutter and external noise around you to help you focus only on the interview conversation
We are all in this together
Above all, you must remember to not panic because that this virtual world is new for everyone. Feel rest assured that you have prepared to the best of your abilities at this point. So join your meeting two minutes early, breathe, and get ready to ace your interview.
And remember that the online setup can be as new to the interviewer as to you. Try to frankly let your interviewer know that an online setup is odd and different and you’ll be able to strike a deeper rapport with the interviewer.
Sailing through it as an interviewer
Coordinate and communicate with other interviewers
Interviewers are always caught up with multiple interviews in a day and to maintain punctuality try to coordinate with your fellow interviewers.
Be aware of who is interviewing after you and when you start and end your interview inform them about it so they can get ready for their interview.
Calm the interviewee with a beginner break
More often than not candidates are nervous and tense. At the beginning of your interview itself ask them if they feel comfortable and if they need a quick break. They can use this break to sip some water or make use of the restroom.
This beginner’s break is a good way to let the candidate calm down and reset before the interview starts. It also reflects more empathetic, flexible, and positive company culture.
Plans fail, don’t worry
It would surprise you how many times schedules do not go as planned. As a responsible interviewer and a representative of the company, if you face any sudden schedule changes then directly contact the candidate and let them know about rescheduling the interview.
This is another aspect that reflects company culture. If you bail on your candidate without informing them about re-scheduling it, then it reflects carelessness and negligence on the company’s part. Whereas if you re-schedule the interview well in advance then it reflects accountability and responsibility.
Have you tried turning it on and off?
In a virtual setup, technical issues are unavoidable. Your candidate can face internet issues, microphone issues, camera issues, etc. and so can you. The appropriate decision to take as an interviewer is to troubleshoot through the following simple steps:
Get closer to the Wi-Fi router and try to turn the router on and off once .
If your video is on, try to turn it off to allow for lesser bandwidth consumption .
Move to a different device or different platform .
If none of the steps above work, then re-schedule the interview.
Express yourself honestly and genuinely
For ensuring that you get the best candidate for the job an interviewer must too present their best foot forward. Make sure you communicate clearly with a clear video and audio.
Follow the basic checklist and ensure:
1. You test out the software.
2. Consciously provide positive non-verbal cues by nodding, smiling, and maintaining eye contact .
3. Remain focused on the candidate and void of distractions even if they are work-related .
The stage is set
As a candidate you must remember to put your best foot forward through your presentation and communication. Staying calm and confident are your best bets are making a lasting impression on the interviewer.
And as an interviewer, you are showing the candidate what your company stands for. Your comfort and rapport will help convey how much you value your organization and potential employees.