How to Nail a Remote Job Interview

Remote Job Interview

You won’t need to search very long to find virtual job postings. The remote job workforce will double from 16.4% to 34.4% during 2021 because there’s high demand across numerous industries. If employers want to meet you, you should feel confident about your remote job interview skills.

Here’s how to nail a remote job interview by combining in-person interview essentials with your digital skills.  

Curate Your Space

Clean Your Work Area
If you walked into a conference room and found the place littered with trash, you wouldn’t think very highly of the company. The same idea applies to virtual interviews. You should always clean up your workspace or the area in front of your camera.

A clean background with soft lighting sets the stage for productive conversations. Whether your background features an organized bookshelf or a decorated wall, you’ll look your best and show that you cared enough to curate your space just for the interview.

Lighting Can Make a Difference
Lighting can also make or break a remote job interview. You can improve your indoor lighting by trying things like:

  • Face natural lighting sources, like windows.
  • Set up three-point lights for total coverage.
  • Switch your light bulbs for a warmer glow.
  • Use a ring light.

Your lighting may vary throughout the day.  Natural light becomes brighter in the afternoons. Before any interview, it’s best to adjust your lighting and background. 

Dress For The Interview

Treat remote job interviews like in-person meetings. Dressing professionally demonstrates how you take the opportunity seriously and promises the same level of commitment if you become part of a company’s team.

Research is the key to not over or under-dressing.

Check Your Tech and Devices 

No one wants to waste their time with lagging video issues or audio problems. Be sure to check your devices well before the interview starts.  Employers want employees who are more than capable of handling software programs. Otherwise, your team may struggle to work with you over digital platforms and become less productive after completing their onboarding process.

 Prepare for potential problems with these tips that only take a few minutes.

Mastering the Video Call Platform
When a recruiter schedules your interview, ask which video conferencing platform they prefer.

Make sure you learn how to use the platform prior to your interview.  You can practice video chatting with a friend or family member so you can set up your user profile and get used to the program ahead of time.

Test Your Internet
Slow internet speed makes video and audio lag. It will also signal to employers that your internet isn’t fast enough for consistent, dependable work communication. Before your meeting begins, test your internet speed and identify solutions. You may improve your results with an ethernet cable connection or by pausing automatic downloads.

Silence All Devices
You wouldn’t want your phone ringing during an in-person interview, so silence it before any video calls begin.

Switch off notification noises and vibrations from all your devices including your computer. Recruiters will appreciate having all of your attention because you have all of theirs.

Rehearse and Ask for Feedback

Searching for a job using videoEven if you don’t know the exact questions you’ll answer during an interview, you can still practice your answers. Record yourself answering questions by yourself or while you’re on a video call. Ask your family or friends for feedback. It’s best to record your mock interview.  Take the time to make a few quick edits of your interview before sending.  You can trim and cut pauses between each interview question or add a couple text annotations.   

You might find that you appear more confident while looking directly into the camera. A friend could point out how you unknowingly slouch or fidget. Reviewing your practice interviews and perfecting your interview skills will help you stand out from other candidates.

Body Language Matters

Body language can communicate more than your words. If you cross your arms and tap your feet, you’ll appear unhappy to be there and anxious to leave. It’s difficult to read the undertones of someone’s body language through a screen so emphasize your feelings with gestures and vocal inflections.

Practice how you come across during a conversation. You can project confidence and poise by keeping your back straight and using hand gestures to emphasize what you say. You should appear at ease even during tough questions, but that gets easier with practice.

Watch yourself with a recorded video if you can’t get a friend to rehearse with you. You’ll notice things like how you seem more engaged by looking directly into the camera and catch how often you might look away, revealing your nervousness.

Spark Conversations and Ask Questions

Both managers and recruiters will have a list of questions for you to answer, but they want you to ask questions too.

Conversations should happen outside of their required questions, so prepare any questions you might have and think about showing that you’re interested in the position. 

Genuine interest improves your chance of making an impact and scoring the job. While maintaining eye contact with your camera instead of your screen, ask important questions about the position that go deeper than what other people might ask.

Consider the following questions and tailor them to reflect the specific position you want.

What Skills Do You Prioritize for This Role?
Every job posting includes required skills and experience, but it might not list them in order of importance. This question also allows you to expand on what makes you the best candidate for the job.

You could mention how you use videos to improve your team’s communication. You can talk about your knowledge of using video integrations and how it fits within your workflow. These type of details help you stand out from the sea of applicants.

The hiring manager or recruiter may even want to hire you because you emphasized your willingness to take on leadership roles. Soft and hard skills are both great to talk about during remote job interviews.

Are There Any Opportunities for Professional Development?

Remote InterviewsManagers want to hire people who stick around longer than a few years. Asking about opportunities for professional development shows that you want to grow with the company instead of using them as a stepping stone for your career.

You’ll also learn if the position aligns with your career goals before accepting a permanent position offer.

What Are the Performance Expectations of This Position?

Miscommunication occurs easily over the computer, so always clarify what the manager expects from you. If the role isn’t a good fit for you, this question will make it clear during your initial interview.

Make an Exceptional Impact by Going Above and Beyond

One of the best remote job interview tips is to go above and beyond with your knowledge, enthusiasm and performance. Research the company before your interview to learn about their mission statement, key company values and the impact they’ve had on their industry — some companies even list their interview process and expectations, which can help make you doubly prepared. Mentioning these things displays your commitment to the company and how excited you are to work with them.