How do I come across well in a remote interview?  

Leadership Courses

The interviewees guide.

It’s already a part of work life; holding and or attending interviews remotely happens regularly.  In this first of two parts on the subject we are going to take a look at the question from the interviewees perspective.  Next time we can deal with the interviewers viewpoint.  

For a start lets state the obvious, an online interview needs to do all the good things that you would expect in a traditional interview.  So here I want to deal with some ideas that might be specifically useful for a remote interview scenario.  

Top Tip 1 – What’s the place like?  

You get a significant amount of helpful information when you turn up physically for an interview.  I’m thinking about cultural indicators and clues.  Simple things like; What’s the building like? How are people generally dressed?  Whats the mood?  Is it a vibrant noisy place, or quieter and more formal.  

These cues are very helpful in gauging how to pitch yourself in the interview.  They are small but significant indicators that you lose in remote interviews.  

To counter for this you need to do a bit more research than normal.  Specifically look for ways to get a feel for the organisation over and above the technical aspects.  What can you learn about the organisation from the google street view, the style of the twitter feed, imagery on the website etc.  

Build up a picture that profiles the organisation and people to help you fine tune your approach. 

Top tip 2 – Know what platform you will be using.

There’s nothing worse than coming across poorly because you are struggling with the technology.  If at all possible find out what platform they will use to host the interview.  Often it will be a public system, which means you can gain access and familiarise yourself with the facilities and options beforehand.  Maybe you will need to make a presentation during the interview; find out how to do this in good time.  Work out what’s needed to share your screen, and by the way, make sure you have set your computer background to something neutral and suitable!  

Top tip 3 – Consider your opening sequence. 

First impressions are still important when attending an online interview, so make sure you give good consideration to your opening sequence.  Ensure you arrive punctually, this is not an option!  Show positivity and enthusiasm in a natural way.  Be clear and comfortably concise, answer questions once and stop talking, avoid any waffling.  This is a real danger when you can’t see the interviewers on the other end of the conference.  

We’ve all seen those adverts when the interviewee has dressed smartly on top, but is in shorts and flip flops from the waist down.  It’s comical, but honestly, it’s not going to help you put yourself across.  Dress right down to the shoes you would have worn in the old interview world, and give yourself that extra edge of professionalism in your whole positioning.  

Bob Bannister

Ships Captain.