Job interviews are nerve-wracking experiences for anyone. They can also be very nerve-wracking for the person getting the job answer questions from a group of people they’ve never met. The stakes are even higher for remote job interviews, as respondents may not be in the same country or location where the question was asked.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tips available that can help you successfully answer any remote job interview question. Check out these top 5 tips for remote job interviews and you’ll be well on your way to a job interview that leaves you feeling like a rock star.
Practice makes perfect
Many remote job interviews are set up to be as close to a live event as possible. This is why you might be asked to answer questions ahead of time and send them in advance to the hiring manager. Even though you’ll be expressing yourself in your own words, you’ll be judged on how well you step into that conversation naturally and express yourself clearly.
Practicing your answers in advance can help you keep calm and focus on the questions at the front of your mind. You’ll feel more prepared when you can answer questions that you haven’t been asked yet, even if you don’t end up using those answers.
Try to be yourself during your remote job interview. This means being you while you’re interviewing with someone else. If you have to use an alias, make sure it’s a real name and not a nickname. You want to stick to the topic at hand and avoid talking about yourself too much.
People are less likely to hire people who are self-centered or trying to show off. You don’t have to be the best programmer or have the highest GPA to land a job offer as a remote employee. What you need to do is present yourself as the best match for the position and be genuine when you’re communicating with the hiring manager.
Use your favorite tool
This is another tip that’s specific to remote job interviews. When the hiring manager uses a tool to organize the interview, you should too. This might be a web-based tool or a phone app. Regardless, try to incorporate features that make the interview process more efficient, like the ability to mark questions as answered or unread and to save and export instant notes.
If you’re using a web-based interview tool, you should be able to include the same features your team uses in person, like save-as-you-type, a text-to-speech feature, and a real-time chat facility.
Don’t be afraid to ask the question
While it’s important to be clear, concise and to the point when answering a question, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a question of your own. This is especially important when answering common remote job interview questions, like “What do you like most about working here?” With no way to address that question in a 1,000-word job ad, you might as well ask it in an interview.
Most hiring managers are busy and would rather devote their time to finding the best match for their company than samurai trying to kill every representative of their organization. Even a simple “what do you like most about working here?” can provide insight into a hiring manager’s thought process and smooth the way toward accepting a job offer.
Be Clear, Concise
Keep your messages focused and simple. Don’t try to explain too much or go into too much detail. In fact, talking about yourself or your work too much can be a huge turn-off. Be direct and clear about what you want from a job, while still acknowledging that you might not get it.
You don’t have to be the best programmer or have the highest GPA to land a job as a remote employee. What you need to do is present yourself as the best match for the position and be genuine when you’re communicating with the hiring manager.
Make an appointment beforehand
You don’t want to show up to an interview with a panic attack or a bad case of nerves. You should be comfortable and at ease with your appearance and surroundings. Make an appointment with yourself before the interview and do some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on yourself.
This therapy helps people who tend to overthink or worry too much. You can use any tool you like to help you clear your head and stay focused on the interview, like meditation or applying positive affirmations to yourself.
Don’t Respond to Every Email Immediately
Hiring managers are busy people and may be faced with a constant stream of emails during the day. Be patient with them and don’t respond to every email that comes in.
This applies not only to jobs but to everything you do in life. We all have a finite amount of time each day and we don’t want to spend it reading emails that we don’t need to respond to.
Reschedule your interviews for the day when you’ll have more time to really focus on the conversation.
Conclude with a call or an email
When you get the job, it’s supposed to be casual and informal. Even if you’re offered a job that has big responsibilities, you should still take the time to call or email the hiring manager to say thank you and to let them know how much you appreciate the opportunity.
Even if you don’t get the job, a quick call or email to say thanks can help you feel better about the situation and save you from feeling Grumpy and Greedy.
Talk About Time Zones
Even if you work in the same time zone as the hiring manager, it’s still a good idea to talk about time zones while the two of you are on the phone or in meetings.
Some hiring managers are strict about which time zones their candidates must be in order to apply for a job. Others are more lenient and will consider a candidate if they can show up in the same time zone as the hiring manager.
Regardless of how strict or flexible the policy is, it’s still good etiquette to talk about time zones when you’re on the phone or in meetings.
While it’s important to be yourself and to respond quickly to any question, you don’t have to respond to every email immediately. In fact, it’s rude. Talking about time zones (even if it’s just to say hello in another time zone) while you’re on the phone or in meetings can help you show the hiring manager that you know how to maintain professional boundaries while still showing respect for those you’re talking to.