As we approach the end of the second week of our “new normal,” you may be wondering how you can conduct interviews during this unprecedented time. Luckily, we’re living in a time where remote communication tools are plentiful. Your interviewer may want to use Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or another popular teleconference platform to conduct a visual, but virtual interview. Most companies that have the capability to conduct interviews using a collaboration tool will do so. However, don’t think that a remote interview doesn’t require the same preparation as an in-person interview.
Tip #1: Dress Up
I know it sounds silly, but you should absolutely dress up for the remote interview. Besides the fact that the interviewer will be able to see you, there’s something psychological about dressing nicely. It can help put you in the right frame of mind to successfully conduct an unconventional interview. Plus, you still have to make a good impression on the person interviewing you. Wearing a T-shirt and gym shorts is going to make the opposite impression.
Tip #2: Practice
I’m an advocate for mock interviews. Regardless of whether the interview is done remotely, you’ll still need to convince that interviewer that you are the right person for the job and this takes practice. Before you log into the remote communication platform to interview, try to have someone do a mock interview with you. Take an additional step in preparation and do a mock remote interview with a friend and use the same platform slated for the real remote interview.
Tip #3: Research the Company (and the interviewer)
This tip applies across the spectrum of interviewing. Set aside some time to research the company. Try to get a foundational understanding of what the company does. If possible, find some recent news about the company. If the company just released a new product or made a high-profile acquisition, this is something you’ll want to bring up during the interview. It will show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework. Speaking of the interviewer, take time to do a little recon on them, too. I know it sounds “stalker-ish”, but it can help. This can be easily done by looking the person up on LinkedIn. Try to find some common ground. Perhaps you both like the same sports team or are from the same town. Finding commonality can be a good way to break the ice if things get awkward during the interview.
Companies are relying heavily on teleconference and collaboration tools to interview during this unprecedented time.
Tip #4: Test Your Tech
Just because this is the last tip on the list doesn’t mean it isn’t important. You will want to check, re-check and triple check your technology. Make sure your internet connection is solid. You’ll also need to ensure the camera is positioned correctly and the microphone is operating efficiently. Choose a room in your home that won’t cause distractions for you or the interviewer. Do a test call with a friend or family member prior to the interview. Lastly, dial in early. Don’t be late to an interview that doesn’t require driving in traffic.
Remote interviews were already becoming more commonplace before the COVID-19 outbreak. Even after things get back to normal, there may be an uptick in this method of interviewing. If you master it now, you’ll be ready for whatever type of interview method comes your way.
James Payton Jr.2020-03-26T11:32:30-04:00