How Should You Prepare to Ensure a Successful Remote Interview

In this day and age, many companies prefer "contactless recruitment" where all recruitment processes are carried out online, including the critical interview. For international students, this is good news as they no longer need to return to their home countries for interviews, this means that they will be able to save on expenses. Furthermore, this made the entire job-hunting process more efficient as well. 

What preparations are required for remote interviews? Remote interviews typically take the form of video interviews and phone interviews. As the mode of interaction with interviewers has shifted, interview techniques need to adapt accordingly. Leveraging this change in the interview scenario can improve your chances of success. In this blog post, we will provide insights into the intricacies of remote interviews, including preparations before the interview and essential considerations during the process.

Preparing for a Remote Interview

Men in a Remote interview with headphones on

Alt text: Men in a Remote interview with headphones on

  1. Create a Professional Interview Environment

Interviews should be conducted in a professional and private setting, so it's essential to find a quiet location. Avoid any potential disturbances during the interview, such as the presence of pets or children. 

If you are participating in a video interview, ensure there is proper lighting so that your face is clearly visible. Dress appropriately for the interview; remote interviewing at home doesn't imply a casual appearance. It's advisable to wear formal attire and light makeup for ladies. While the tech industry for example may have a more relaxed dress code, it's essential to present yourself professionally.

  1. Utilize Devices to Your Advantage

Although online interviews present several uncontrollable variables, such as sound issues or lag. While these may seem like minor concerns, frequent occurrences can significantly impact your interview experience. 

To ensure a smooth interview experience, it's important to take proactive measures to avoid technical issues. Doing so not only showcases your professionalism and organizational skills, but also helps to prevent any potential disruptions. To prepare, make sure to install and test the interview software beforehand, and assess the quality of your device's audio and video. You can also consider using headphones to improve sound clarity and ensure your interviewer can hear you clearly.

Additionally, it is good to have an additional computer ready with your electronic resume, prepared questions, and corresponding answer to assist in your responses. While you may use these materials, it's crucial not to over-rely on them. Keep your phone on silent and prevent pop-up notifications on your computer.

  1. When Facing Unexpected Interviews, Pay Attention to The Following Points

Keep a record of the companies and positions you've applied to. Avoid answering the phone without a clear understanding of the company and job description. Telephone etiquette is vital. If you are not accustomed to making business calls, especially during your job search, it's essential to develop basic politeness and manners to avoid awkward situations. 

Some candidates become nervous when they realize it's an interviewer on the line and may try to evade the conversation, citing a lack of availability. This can come across as impolite. Even if you are unprepared at that moment, you can politely say, "I'm sorry, I'm not available right now. Could we schedule a more suitable time, like 2 PM this afternoon?" Taking the initiative to propose a meeting time is often appreciated by interviewers.

Main Considerations During the Interview

Women during a remote interview with proper etiquette

  1. Maintain Proper Remote Interview Etiquette

Remote interviews may convey emotions less directly compared to face-to-face communication. It's crucial to express enthusiasm and professionalism, as this will leave a positive impression. 

  • Maintaining a smile and expressing your seriousness about the interview:

Even in a phone interview, your laughter can be heard from your voice. Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes and consider their feelings and experience. For example, inquire about the audio quality to ensure clarity. Avoid interrupting others, and instead, listen carefully to the questions before responding. Maintain an enthusiastic tone during the interview, especially in phone interviews, where interviewers cannot gauge your expressions and can only rely on your tone. 

  • Engage in eye contact: 

In video interviews, some candidates are unsure where to look, often glancing at their prepared materials, leading to uncertain eye contact. It's best to identify the appropriate focal point on your device before the interview to establish an "eye contact" effect similar to in-person interviews. Last but not least, don’t forget to express gratitude when the interview concludes.

2. Video Interview Answering Techniques

In remote interviews, many factors like in-person interactions, on-the-spot conditions, and body language that may influence the interviewers' judgment are eliminated. Therefore, interviewers are likely to focus more on the quality of your responses. To succeed, you must pay attention to two significant factors: understanding the interviewer's question intent and providing logical, well-structured responses.

Understanding the interviewer's questions: Before rushing to answer the interviewer's questions, take 3-5 seconds to pause and ponder on the intent behind the question. Understanding the question's purpose is crucial. Avoid hasty responses. For instance, if asked about your future career plans, the intention is to assess whether your interests align with the position and if you possess stability. You should tailor your response accordingly.

How to Answer Remote Interview Questions In a Structured and Logical Manner:

It's advisable to use the STAR method when responding to questions. This approach helps you provide structured and logical answers, making it easier to follow for the interviewer. 

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Proficiency in using the STAR method to answer questions can significantly enhance your responses. For example, if asked to share a successful experience from your internship, start by summarizing the story in one sentence. Then, use the STAR method to narrate the story cohesively.

Situation & Task (ST): During my internship at XX company, each intern was given a monthly sales target. As I was elected as the intern team leader, I set a goal to achieve double the sales performance target compared to other interns in my second month.

Action (A): Initially, I had reservations about setting such a high target for myself because no intern had ever achieved such results. However, I soon realized I couldn't remain passive. I actively researched and learned sales techniques from books like "101 Rules for Top Sales From Alibaba" and collected and implemented advice from senior employees. This involved seeking advice through formal consultations and casual conversations.

Result (R): Eventually, utilising this method, I managed to surpass my target of doubling sales performance. This method also earned me recognition from many senior colleagues, and my approach was adopted by the department during their weekly meetings. This experience taught me that I have substantial potential and should dare to break through existing limitations.

Mastering Remote Interviews

In this blog post, we have covered the strategies for remote or video interviews. Although remote interviews offer less control compared to in-person interviews and fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions, by mastering the aforementioned techniques can help you excel in these unique circumstances.

Recruitery wishes you all the best as you prepare for your interviews to come! If you found this blog useful, please don’t forget to share it with your friends and bookmark this blog for future reference!