What You Need for a Successful Remote Job Interview
Updated: Sep 19, 2021
We’ve been dealing with the COVID pandemic since March of last year, and by this point, you’re probably pretty comfortable having a video conference at home. You have a good connection, you have a camera and a microphone, so that means that you’re ready for a remote job interview, right?
Not so fast.
While you may have everything you need for a meeting with your co-workers and colleagues, you may need more to prepare for a remote interview for your next job.
Think of it this way – on a normal business day, you likely dress business casual. You look presentable and professional, ready to work. But is that what you’d wear to a job interview? Probably not. So here are a few tips on what you need for a successful remote job interview.
When it comes to a remote job interview, the importance of the camera can’t be overstated. Before your interview, make sure that your camera is in good working order. You should also make sure that you’re properly centered in the shot. This might mean that you have to change the angle of your camera or change the height of your chair.
During the interview, be sure to look straight into the camera as you would into the eyes of the person you’re interviewing. Always dress for a remote interview as you would for an in-person interview – in other words, make sure that you’re wearing pants or a skirt and not sweats.
Being Heard Clearly
The microphone you’re currently using for remote meetings is likely good enough to make yourself understood by the people you speak to often. The people you’re interviewing with however won’t be able to ask follow-up questions after the interview if there was something they were unclear on. So to be sure that the interviewer can hear you clearly, and that you can hear them, consider using a lapel microphone and wireless earbuds. This will allow you to hear and be heard without having any distractions, like a headset or visible wires. It’s also a good idea to minimize any background noise, such as fans, pets, and your phone.
The right lighting can do wonders for your overall presentation, so be sure to use warm, diffuse light. You can now find good, amateur video lighting for under $100 on Amazon and other retailers. In a pinch, you can put paper over a lamp as a make-shift diffuser, but make sure it’s not in contact with the bulb. Don’t rely on sunlight for a remote interview – the sun can be unreliable due to clouds and, depending on the angle of the light, may result in distracting shadows.
It’s easy and fun to use a background for a team meeting, and you may be tempted to use it for your interview. But don’t give in to that temptation! Backgrounds may not look the same for everyone on the video interview, and they are often perceived as amateurish. Rather than use an artificial, computer-generated background, use your own background, i.e., the wall of your interview space. Just make sure that your background looks professional, without any distracting art or unfolded laundry.
When you’re getting ready for your interview, make sure you have a clear, neat desk. The only things that the interviewer should be able to see are the essentials you’ll need for the interview – a copy of your resume, a notebook and pen for notes, and a glass or bottle of water.
Remember that your interview space includes your computer desktop. Close any unnecessary windows and make sure that you close or mute any chat or email programs. You don’t need any distractions interrupting your interview.
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