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Top 10 Tips for Interviewing Remotely

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Interviewing remotely has now become the new normal for most people over the past 12 months with the global Covid-19 pandemic. Although a lot of businesses have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have stopped hiring during this period, there are still many that are recruiting people for now and the future. Doing remote interviews may not be ideal for either the candidate or interviewers, however we all must adapt for now as online interviews look here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Here are my Top 10 Tips if you are preparing for an online interview.

1. Quiet Environment
It is imperative that you are in a quiet environment with no distractions when doing a remote interview. You need to be fully engaged with the interviewer throughout the interview, so remove all distractions and ensure that you are in a quiet space where you will not have anyone to disrupt your interview. You should also remove distractions like your phone, put it on silent so you are fully focussed on the interview. You want to make sure that the interview goes as smoothly as possible and avoid any awkward moments.

2. Test your Technology
This is one of the first things you must do when preparing for your interview. Give yourself plenty of time to test your IT equipment and ensure it is working well to avoid any glitches during the interview. Don’t leave this 5-10 minutes before the interview begins to then find out that your audio or camera isn’t working. Make sure you test the audio well in advance of the interview and make sure the camera shows you clearly. You want to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment and making a bad impression with the interviewer.

3. Make Sure You’re Ready
Make sure that you’re ready to go at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time. You want to avoid rushing before the interview and ensure that everything is in place, including the equipment & video conferencing software that you will be using for the interview e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc. By being prepared before your interview, this allows you to relax more and show you are eager and ready to begin the interview.

4. Dress Professional
Dress as you would if attending an interview in person. Similar to doing a face-to-face interview it is important to put your best foot forward when interviewing remotely and be dressed appropriately i.e., professional attire. Also, make sure the background which the interviewer will see during the online interview is free of any distractions or clutter. Most video conferencing applications allow you to set a professional looking background filter.

5. Keep Your CV Next to You
You should ensure that you have a copy of your CV printed out next to you. With most face-to-face interviews it is advised not to bring your CV to the interview with you, however this is something that you can use to your advantage when doing a remote interview and have your CV printed out beside you if you need to refer to it at any stage.

6. Maintain Good Eye Contact
It is important that you maintain eye contact throughout the duration of the interview and treat it as though you are face to face with the interviewer. This will show that you are focussed and confident and not distracted. Understandably remote interviews are not for everyone and it can be hard to beat the face-to-face interaction where you often get a better feel for the company, culture, potential fit etc. It is important to remember however that the principles of the interview are the same whether you are doing it remotely or in person.

7. Research the Company and Position
As part of any interview preparation, you will need to know your CV inside out and review the job description in good detail ensuring that you can align your experience as closely as possible to the requirements of the role. You also want to make sure you display the correct knowledge about the company and position throughout the interview. Most interviewers will expect that you have taken the time to research the company. Being able to articulate your knowledge of the company in the interview is one way to stand out and it shows that you have taken the time to research and familiarise yourself with the company and that you want the job.

8. Selling your Skillset and Experience
The interview is your chance to shine and you want to showcase your skillset, capabilities, and experience to the interviewer. Make sure you listen carefully to the questions being asked and that you answer all questions clearly & concisely while giving good specific examples of your experience to date. It is always good to have a few key achievements to add to your experience which might set you apart from other candidates. In addition, you should always have a few good questions prepared which shows your enthusiasm and interest in the role/company etc.

9. Professional Online Presence
Most employers will do some research on the candidate prior to the interview through the various social media platforms. LinkedIn is the most relevant and it is viewed as a secondary resume therefore, it is important that your LinkedIn profile looks professional and is up to date. Other social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are more personal, however it is still important that your posts and behaviour on these sites will not impact negatively on you securing your next role and leave a potential employer with a bad impression.

10. Have a Strong Close
When the interview concludes, it is important to thank the interviewer/interviewers for their time and let them know that you are genuinely very interested in the role and hope to hear from them soon. Its always a nice touch to send your interviewer a short email after the interview thanking them for their time and to leave a good overall impression. It’s also a chance to reiterate your interest and excitement in the role/company etc. If you are dealing with a recruitment agency directly, it is important that you follow up with the relevant recruitment consultant after the interview to give them your feedback so that they can then pass this on to the interviewer.

Barry Dolan – Recruitment Director
Tel: 086 0758252
Email: b.dolan@optimarecruitment.ie

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