Remote interviewing, how to make the most of it.
The Remote interview – coming soon to a screen near you!
Recruitment and job interviews specifically have already changed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The part of the process that is most familiar, and a distinct progression stage of the process - the job interview, will not be taking place in the form of an in-person, face-to-face meeting or 'traditional' interview for some time. So, what's the process going to look like?
Remote interviewing - the process and the preparation.
We're probably all familiar with some form of video communications - Facetime/WhatsApp/Facebook messenger etc on your phone or desktop applications such as Skype/Zoom/Microsoft teams etc. In all likelihood the interview will be via a desktop application (although some of these also have mobile apps) which is often a more stable, reliable connection - and gives you the benefit of a larger viewing screen to eyeball your interviewers!
Whichever application is chosen, ahead of the interview there's a couple of things you can do to set yourself up for what might be your first remote interview and may seem like an odd way to get your perfect job.
* Prepare and test your tech - This sounds obvious but make sure you've downloaded the correct version of the required software/application ahead of the scheduled interview. You don't want to discover there's an annoying download required before joining the meeting - if this results in a delayed start time it'll be forgiven, I'm sure, but could also be seen to be 'turning up' under-prepared.
If you're totally unfamiliar with the software, many of these offer a handy tutorial to give you the basics. If you're able to schedule your own meeting with a friend or colleague using the same software, you might want to consider doing a dry run to get you familiar with it in advance. By having tested your camera and mic before the interview kicks off, you will be more relaxed knowing it definitely works and how it looks and feels.
* Dress 'the set' - There's no need to go to town here, just try and ensure the area or room you plan to interview in is quiet, clean, clear of clutter and is in a spot where you won't be interrupted. Let those you live with know what time the interview is set for and ask if noise can be kept as minimal as possible during this time. If interviewing from the kitchen avoid putting the washing machine/dish washer etc on until after the interview - ours sometimes sounds as if it's attempting to take flight...
* Dress appropriately - Again this sounds obvious but present yourself and treat this interview in exactly the same way as you would if you were meeting the interviewer/panel in person, sat across a table from them. Once you've landed the role and become part of the new team there will doubtless be plenty of time to bring out that comedy hat/wig/adorable pet...
* Prepare yourself! - prepare in the same way as you would for any other interview. Do your research and homework, run through and rehearse some responses to key interview questions and have a selection of your own questions prepared in advance to ask the interviewer(s). At least one of the questions you prepared may be answered within the interview process - have several ready in case this happens.
* Be personable - make regular eye contact and interact with your interviewers - think of the camera lens as their eyes and show interest and intent by giving this eye contact. Avoid looking at your own image if shown on screen - you know you look fab already - there's no need to reaffirm this during the process.
* Be fully present - there's no way you'd leave your phone ringer on during a face to face interview and risk it goes off mid-conversation. Put your phone on silent, turn it face down - or better still remove it completely from the situation to prevent any possible distractions it may bring.
* Follow-up with an email - whether you felt the interview went brilliantly or less-so, it's polite to thank all attendees for their time and gives you the opportunity to show you are still keen to move forward. Or conversely if you've decided to pass up on the role it's good to let them know ASAP.
Finally, allow a little more time for employers to respond than you might normally think is required. Recruiters are having to operate differently. Working remotely as opposed to in-office poses many challenges, particularly with organising onboarding and company orientation. Decision making processes may be slowed down as a result.