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Maximising your opportunities at a remote interview

 

You’ve completed arguably the most important part of the recruitment process: your CV. Now you’ve been given an interview, this is your opportunity to shine.

Interviews are your way to show you have the required skills, knowledge and attributes to succeed in the position available. On many levels, interviews also assess your character and career, including cultural fit, team dynamics, and your willingness to contribute to an organisation as a whole.

Employers are looking for those candidates they can trust to become valued and productive team players. This is why it’s so important to carefully consider how best you can demonstrate your skills and experience, and which examples you can use to give evidence that you’re the best person for the role.

Even though many interviews are now taking place over Zoom, Teams, and Hangouts, the basic steps you take to prepare are largely the same, and you should put the same effort into your preparations as you would for conventional in-person interviews.

Preparation

Firstly, research the company and its competitors, market position, and recent developments within the industry. It might be helpful to create a list of questions you might be asked so you can plan your answers – a useful tip is to look at the job description.

Always think of at least one or two questions you would like to ask the recruiter about the company, the department, and the role you’re applying for.

Personal Impact

To really shine and show a potential employer you’re the perfect person for the role, you should:

  • Dress smartly and arrive on time
  • Relax and be yourself
  • Listen carefully to questions, planning before you speak and answering the questions asked
  • Be enthusiastic and emphasise your relevant skills and experiences – including any transferable skills you have that could benefit the role on offer
  • Focus on what you can offer

Types of remote interviews:

Telephone interviews:

A perk of phone interviews is that you can have your notes in front of you. However, you won’t be able to rely on visual clues, so convey with words and your tone of voice what you would’ve otherwise achieved with a smile and a nod.

If there are any long silences following your response to a question, you can always ask if they would like you to expand further.

Follow these tips for a smooth phone interview experience:

  • Take a call in a room where signal is strong and you won’t be disturbed
  • Keep your CV, application and notes to hand as a prompt
  • Sit up straight or even stand – and dress smartly, which will help you feel more focused

Video interviews:

While video interviews have become somewhat the ‘norm’, you should treat them as you would any face to face interview:

  • Dress how you would for any in person interview
  • Set your PC or laptop up so the camera is at eye level with your interviewer
  • Your backdrop should be fixed, plain and not distracting
  • Make sure you won’t be interrupted or disturbed by family/housemates
  • Address your answers to the camera, as opposed to your screen to ensure the video equivalent of eye contact

 

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