COVID-19 Remote Interview Tips
So, you searched and searched, and landed the interview- now what? To make things ten times more difficult, the interview will be via the internet because, well, COVID. For the most part, everything will be the same. You need to dress nicely, prepare for the obvious questions. Some things will be different, however. Here are a few suggestions to help you nail your remote interview.
Set the Stage
When it comes to a virtual interview, you want to find the perfect spot to set up. Avoid coffee shops and make sure your curious family members won’t pop in unexpectedly. A neutral background is preferred, but we will also take this time to tell you that those empty three-dollar wine bottles are not decor. We're not your mom, but now wouldn’t be a bad time to make your bed too.
Feeling fancy? Find yourself two sources of light- a window and a lamp will do. You want to situate them diagonally in front of you. If you wear glasses, make sure there’s no glare. Last but not least, sit in a small chair preferably free from squeaks!
Don’t roll your eyes, there is actually a science to the positioning of your webcam. Position it so you are centered and slightly looking up. Prioritize the camera, not your screen- remember to look at the webcam when answering questions, not at the interviewer on the screen (we know, it’s weird).
This (might) go without saying, but no virtual backgrounds my friend. Also, since we are saying that- DON’T FORGET PANTS!
As you would for any interview, dress appropriately, and avoid bright colors or loud patterns. Turn off your phone and try not to fidget. Grab a notepad and take some notes. Also, double check the time zone you’re supposed to be interviewing in- you’ll be glad you did.
VIRTUAL INTERVIEW BONUS! You can have a cheat-sheet, sticky note, reference paper during the interview- but don’t make it obvious.
Worst Case Scenario
It is more than just a cliche that remote meeting technology never works. Luckily, we are all human going through this crazy shift of normalcy. Don’t. Freak. Out. Prepare for some hiccups- before you start, ask for a good callback number in case you get disconnected (this also makes you seem more prepared). Unplanned construction? Crying baby? Mom nagging you to get a job? Excuse yourself, apologize, and ask for a moment. If it does not subside, mute, settle it, and get back to business! Remember, always act like you are visible and audible.
Prepare Properly and You'll Have an Advantage
Preparation is key in any interview, and remote interviews are no exception. Most of your competition won't bother with these details, which gives you a huge advantage in looking more professional than they will. Plan ahead, pay attention to the details, and land that job!