• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Tuesday 05 th May 2020

How to prepare for a remote job interview

For many, video interviewing can be a daunting prospect but if you approach this in the right way, then it can really strengthen the possibility of getting the job. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, video interviewing is happening now more than ever before. The success of which, will determine whether companies integrate this interview format into their recruitment process moving forward.

For any candidate that has a video interview booked in, you should read our tips below to give you the best possible chance of progressing through the recruitment process.

Technical Set-Up

Upon accepting a video interview invite you will need to make sure you have the right technical infrastructure to support the call and eliminate any potential technical issues. The last thing you want to do is show technical incompetence so check the following before the interview:

  • Internet Connection Having a strong and reliable internet connection is paramount to conducting a good video interview. Internet connectivity can vary greatly at various points in the day so if you know that the internet connection is poor at certain times then avoid setting up the interview within these periods.
  • Internet Speed - You will need to check the speed of the connection where you will be conducting the interview. It is recommended that the connection should have a speed of at least 1mbps to support a video call. Check the connection speed at speedtest.net
  • Battery Should you be using a mobile device to conduct the video interview then you will need to make sure that the device is fully charged. If the set up allows you to charge the device whilst doing the interview then do, as with older devices, videos drain the battery quickly.
  • Audio Check the speaker and microphone for the device you are using are in working order and not going to compromise the interview. If you have substandard audio equipment, then this severely impact the flow of the interview.
  • Visual The camera needs to be fully operational as this is one of the main benefits of the video call in that you get to see the face behind the voice.
  • Platform The video interview could be conducted through a wide range of platforms. The most common are FaceTime, WhatsApp or Zoom. If you have not downloaded the app previously then you will need to do so and then spend some time familiarising yourself with the platform.

Contingency Plan

No matter how many times you have checked the tech sometimes the tech fails. It could be the internet connection, the platform or a device issue. In any case you should always exchange contact numbers with the interviewer in case technical issues prohibit the interview.

The Setting

Choosing the right setting on where to conduct your interview is incredibly important. It goes without saying that you need to find a quiet, private and well-lit space to conduct the interview. Busy environments such as coffee shops, restaurants or open spaces should not be used. You should also think about the background image you are portraying to the interviewer. Ideally this should be plain clutter free background so the interviewer can concentrate on interviewing you!

If you are conducting an interviews after work when it is dark outside then find a room which has floor or desk lamps to brighten up the room.

Interruption and Distraction

Should you be doing your video interview at home you need to isolate yourself from any other individuals in the house where you cannot be disturbed. Brief these individuals prior to the interview so they know not to disturb you.

Disconnect any other mobile devices and landline so they cannot ring during the interview. Turn off TVs or Radios that could be heard in the background. Make sure that you are not due to have any home deliveries or services engineers come to your location at the time of the interview. In addition you should make sure that the device you are using should be up against a blank wall rather than a window so that you can focus on the interview and not get distracted by the outside world.

You may have prepared notes or have your CV to hand but don’t let these distract you whilst the interview is in progress. Should you wish to access these then make the interviewer aware first to prevent them from thinking you are distracted.

Your attire

Although you are not attending the interview face to face you should treat this as a formal interview and wear the necessary attire that you would wear for a face to face interview. Most definitely you should avoid wearing loud garish clothes and avoid wearing patterns and stripes.

It is important that you ascertain what the company’s culture is with regards to work attire as you will not mirror this at the interview. If the culture is white collar then wear a suit, if it is smart casual then wear trousers and a shirt etc. However, bear in mind that it is always to better to be slightly over dressed than under dressed for an interview.

Body Language

Body language is a vital component in having a successful video interview. You should maintain eye contact at all times to demonstrate that you are engaged. The camera should ideally be at eye level as differing eye levels can be interpreted certain ways such. If your camera is below eye level the interviewer could interpret this is submissive, but on the flip, above eye level could be interpreted as overpowering and aggressive.

First Impressions count

It goes without saying that first impressions count and carry a huge amount of weight in the hiring decision process. Interviewers usually know whether they are interested in pursuing a candidate within the first 3 minutes of an interview. You need to be fully prepared and have conducted all the necessary research about the company, the culture and the job before the video interview. Prepare some questions in advance of the call and have these to hand. You also need to prepare and rehearse your 30 second elevator pitch.


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