Successful Remote Interviewing

Posted on: April 5th, 2016 by
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Remote Interviews, meetings or teleconferencing are becoming more and more prevalent. From the company’s perspective, it’s cheaper, quicker and more convenient than traveling. From the candidate or employee’s view, it’s a new set of skills that must be learned and mastered. Anyone who can’t use this technology is at a disadvantage at best, and won’t be hired at worst.

We’ll assume the remote job interview will be from your home computer. So the question is: How do you make the best possible impression remotely. The first step is to understand that your resume was chosen from all of the other resumes for a screening interview. That means something in your background is of interest to the hiring organization. Only the top applicants get an initial interview. While the basics are the same as a face-to-face interview, there are some tricks, cues and advantages you need to understand better than the other candidates being interviewed remotely. Here are a few.

You’re being interviewed because something on your resume sparked a high level of interest. Analyze the top 5 items of the position description to figure out what it is.
Dress professionally. Check their website to determine how to best present yourself
Make sure your social media information parallels your resume. If not, you have a problem.
Find a neutral location. No distractions. No children. No pets. No ringing phone.
Practice on Skype with a mentor or friend. Tape your interview and practice some more.
The interviewer cannot see your computer screen so place small notes on the screen with key points about your experiences, the job, or the company. Keep your resume handy.

Play the role and look the part. Impress them with your confidence, attitude and demeanor
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Look at the camera (red light) and not the screen
Relax as best you can. Put your hands in your lap and relax your shoulders
Non-verbal communications is important. Smile. Place a mirror to check facial expressions
Watch the interviewer’s eyes. If they drift, change subjects so they’re not bored
Be an “active listener”, like a head nod and a positive facial expression

HOW TO END: The interviewer will usually ask for your questions near the end of the interview. Make a good impression with professional questions about the business or job.

ASK: “What results are expected in the first 6 months?” “What issues need to be problem-solved in the longer-term?” This will position you as a result, goal-oriented candidate.

DON’T ASK: “What’s the salary for this position… vacations… benefits… Do I have to move to Detroit? Work on weekends? Travel a lot? (You’ll get answers later as a finalist)

Remote interviews are more difficult than in-person since there are fewer cues for you to see. On the other hand, if you’re prepared and skilled, you’ll stand out more effectively than others.

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