Remote interviews can present some new challenges for candidates. The key to success is to understand the pitfalls, be well prepared, and to know what to do if things don’t go to plan.
Choose a bright, quiet, and well-organised location
Check the background, what will the other person see?
Make sure you have a strong phone or internet signal
If you are using your phone’s camera for a video call, avoid holding it in your hand; place the phone on a stable surface so that you can focus on the interview
Dress comfortably and professionally, in a smart or smart casual style
Avoid wearing stripes or strong patterns, they can strobe on the screen and be off-putting to your interviewer
Try to ensure you won’t be interrupted by other people, children, pets or phones ringing
Research the company and the role, and make written notes
Read through your CV, cover letter and the job description beforehand
Be ready, composed and sat down 5-10 minutes before the interview is due to start
Ensure your phone or laptop are fully charged, and your chargers are available
Have a ‘Plan B’, what will you do if you can’t be seen or heard? How else could you contact your interviewer to let them know if you’re having technical issues?
Be prepared to answer questions on how you would handle the challenges of remote working, e.g. How will you build working relations with new colleagues? How will you maintain your motivation, productivity and the quality of your work?
Make sure the technology works; set up your phone and laptop well in advance
Ask someone to help with a run-through, to practise your delivery and to overcome nerves
Check that your face is correctly framed on the screen, look up towards a camera, not down
Avoid getting too close to the camera or microphone, it can distort the sound or create strange visual effects
Have printed copies of your CV, cover letter and the job description to refer to
Write out any questions you want to ask
Make a checklist of the top 4-5 things you want to make sure the interviewer knows about you by the end of the interview, and work out how you will bring these into the discussion
During the interview
Speak clearly and slowly, keep the dialogue flowing and avoid awkward silences
Establish a good rapport, maintain eye contact, remain focused and relaxed
Ask for a question to be repeated if you’re unclear how to respond
Have a glass of water and a tissue to hand
Keep calm and let the interviewer know if something goes wrong - remember, the way you handle these challenges will demonstrate how you can handle pressure
If you are looking for work and would value some support from an experienced Ingeus work coach, ask your local Jobcentre Plus to refer you to an Ingeus programme today.