Allow me to paint a scenario for you. I was near-fresh from serving in the military knowing I’d have to be ready to re-integrate into the civilian world. I buy my first ever suit in a tasteful dimgray, have it tailored, and practice in my suit all the in-person interviews I’d eventually encounter.
On the 17th of November 2019, a 55-year-old man from the Hubei province in China was the first known (so far) case of covid-19 in humans. On March 19th, 2020 California became the first US state to issue stay-at-home orders followed by the US territory Puerto Rico on March 15th. With the dry-cleaning tag still attached, my suit now mocks me daily from the depths of my closet.
Coronavirus has upended nearly every facet of our lives and job hunting is no different. No longer safe to conduct several interviews a day in a small space that offers little social distancing, the professional world quickly adapted to a new form of interview: remote. If you were sharp with interviews before, you may find the transition easy enough to manage. For the rest of us, read on for tips on how to conquer the remote interview.
1. Research the company and positions
A hiring manager oversees ensuring new hires will be good fits and wise, long-term investments for the company. For this reason, a hiring manager is unlikely to take many risks. Thoroughly knowing and understanding what the company does, their history, and the responsibilities of the position you’re interviewing for speaks volumes to the hiring manager on your desire for the job. Managers can interview dozens of people a week. If you show up so well informed that you teach them something new, you’ll stand out in the best of ways.
2. Prep and practice
Interviewers may sometimes ask unconventional questions as they relate to that specific company or position. For the most part, however, all interviews tend to follow a general pattern of questions that we can prepare for ahead of time. “Why should we hire you?” “Tell me about (blank) on your resume.” or the dreaded “Tell me about yourself.”
Knowing the generic questions that will come in an interview affords us so much luxury in being able to write out our responses, rehearse them, edit them, and continue rehearsing until it sounds so natural your interviewer may begin to suspect you’re the CEO in disguise.
3. Build your brand
If you only had 5 min to convince someone to hire you, what would you make sure they know? What would you highlight? Would you make them laugh or feel inspired? Try thinking of yourself as your own brand. Your brand is what gets you noticed, telling people everything they need to know about you in a condensed amount of time.
Pitching yourself is a skill that pays off in dividends through networking, so the earlier you master it the better your chances are of landing your dream job/interview. Write out a script detailing your professional experience and interests, short-term and long-term goals, and how you’d make an exceptional fit for the company in the position you’re applying to. Just be sure to keep it between 3 – 5 min.
Clear out your interviewing space removing it of all potential distractions. Be sure your background is tasteful (or at least relevant to the job), your mannerisms are tactful, and you’re appropriately dressed/groomed. Keep your resume/CV next to you and maintain eye contact to keep the interview running smoothly, avoiding any awkward hang-ups. Dress as formally as acceptable for the interview, to include your bottom half. If you need to get up for any reason, your interviewer will appreciate not being confronted by your bare thighs.
5. Are you ready?
Showing up to an interview 15-30 min early was good practice. It gave us a traffic-cushion, time to find parking and the meeting place, and allowed us to gather our thoughts for a few moments before officially beginning.
Thankfully, these worries are no longer applicable to the remote interview. But test all the equipment you’ll need for the interview (cam, microphone, lighting, etc.) at least 15 min before the start time. Simply knowing everything is in place to begin your interview relaxes you giving you a more confident, prepared demeanor.
6. Follow through
As I mentioned earlier, hiring managers can perform dozens of interviews a week for a single position. Towards the end of the week, they may be overloaded with candidates. Inquiring about the position post-interview signals immense interest in the job and that you’re looking forward to beginning a career with the company. These are the signs for a wise long-term investment in a potential employee hiring managers love to get.
Before the call ends, ask your interviewer how you may contact them moving forward. Whether by phone or email, be sure to reach out at a time they aren’t expected to be swamped with work.
Can you think of any more tips to excel in a remote interview? Share the wealth of knowledge by letting us know in the comments, so we can all grow and be our best together.
If you missed last week's article on 3 Winter Self-Care Tips for Your Body for 2020-2021, you can still check it out by clicking below.