Remote Interviewing 101

Hi Friends,

I hope all is well, and that you’re all staying home and staying well.  As I write this blog post, I am sitting at home in my living room on a Tuesday morning.  My husband is working downstairs in our man-cave/work-out room/office, and like many of you we are managing our lives differently now.  This is Covid-19 life.  This is our new normal. 

While I certainly am extremely grateful that we are both still working, I realize that this can change very quickly.  As a matter of fact, a few people from my husband’s company were let go yesterday, and its hard not to think, is he next?  As much as I don’t want to speculate or plan for something like that, it would be unwise to turn a blind eye to the possibility that he could also experience a job-loss as a consequence of this pandemic.

With that being said, I realize many people have already lost jobs in recent weeks.  As a result, many folks either ARE or WILL BE interviewing remotely for the very first time.  While, interviews can be a little nerve-racking on a normal day, they can be especially challenging with the added caveat of doing them remotely via video conference.  Therefore, if you or someone you know has a tele-conference interview in their future, be sure to utilize the following tips I’ve learned along the way to #acetheinterview and #landthejob.  

1.  Study and prepare for the tele-interview as you would for an in-person interview.

As I mentioned before, interviews are nerve racking on a normal day.  So, the more prepared you are, the more confident you will appear.    

  • Study the company and culture.
  • Study products and customers.
  • Study the job description.
  • Check Glassdoor or Cafe Pharma (if that’s your field), etc.  

2.  Get dressed as you would for an in-person interview.  At least, from the waist-up!  

Tele-conference interviews are typically from the waist-up.  I encourage you to dress the part, and to double-check that you and your clothing, along with  everything the interviewer will see on the screen, looks neat, polished, and not too distracting.

Ladies, not too much cleavage or distracting jewelry.  Gentlemen, iron your shirts and shave.  Put on a blazer.  If you are wearing slippers, no-one will know, but everything else needs to be professional and polished.

I would assume that this goes without saying, but don’t smoke or eat or chew gum.  A cup of coffee or a glass of water is ok, but you should keep those to a minimum as well.  

3.  Do a run-through the night before.

You DO need to assess a few things during this run-through…

  • Inspect the background of what the interviewer will see. 
  • Make sure the angle and the lighting reflects you in the best possible light.
  • Eliminate any distractions or clutter (in the background) from the room you’re going to be in.  
  • Make sure you can do the interview in a room by yourself without distractions like kids, pets, tvs, spouses, construction noise, etc.   

4.  Practice if you can…

This may be a tall order, but you should FaceTime someone that can do a mock-interview with you.  You should focus on answering hypothetical interview questions while looking at the tiny camera at the top of the screen, not the interviewer’s face or your own face.  Looking at the tiny camera dot will ensure that the interviewer feels as if you are looking them in the eye. 

5.  Have a pen and paper and a prepared list of questions on hand for after the interview concludes.  Take notes during the interview.

6.  Send a thank you note immediately after!

I recommend sending a thank-you note immediately after each phase of the interview process.  This lets the interviewer know you are interested in the position, and gives you a chance to clarify anything you may have missed during your conversation.  Also, doing so demonstrates your written communication skills.  

(I once had a former boss tell me I got the job because my follow-up skills were so good.  Just saying…)

7.  Show some ENTHUSIASM!  

On camera, some people come off as boring.  Please be interesting and interested!  If you cannot do this, you have bigger fish to fry then acing this interview anyway… #winkwink.

Let me know if you find these tips helpful during your next tele-conference interview, and as always #sharingiscaring.

SHARE our tips on your Facebook or LinkedIn page if you think these tips can help someone you know. 

Stay well out there, and happy interviewing!


Originally posted to EOS Careers on March 31, 2020

The Mom's Career Guide

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