Remote interviews, no matter if the job you’re applying for is 100% virtual or not, have almost become commonplace for employers looking to add a new team member into the mix. Yes, the setting is different than an in-person interview, but it’s important for candidates to remember that many of the same rules apply.
And as you can imagine, being the 100% remote company that we are, we’ve experienced our fair share of them. So we hopped on another Networks Live! On Demand event with our friends over at Blue Star Families to reveal the many things we’ve seen (and not seen, but wish we had) to ultimately help you own your next remote interview.
- Be cautious of virtual interview scams. While we don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, unfortunately, the spouse community is susceptible to scams and identity theft—especially in the virtual space. That said, always play it safe when someone reaches out to you via email or social media (such as LinkedIn), and you begin questioning how they found you upon their request to interview via a Google Chat room. We use video calls to further drive home the fact that we’re to be trusted. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, research the company and ask around!
- Have your outfit picked out & ready to go. Even though this interview will be done in the comfort of your own home (or favorite coffee shop), it’s essential you look put together. We’re not saying you have to get fancy schmancy by any means. Wear a simple button-down or blouse that makes your eyes pop. Get your hair just the way you want it. And sit in front of a solid-colored, light, distraction-free background (even if it’s a partition wall). You’ll convey you’re a professional and taking this opportunity to heart.
- Get comfortable with technology. Just as you’d get directions pulled up and ready to go to drive to an in-person interview, have the particular software or application downloaded to your computer and/or integrated to your desktop. Often, the tool the interviewer will be using is referenced in the digital invitation they send you. And the best part? Many of these tools have a practice mode! So you can log in, send the practice room link to your spouse or best friend, and run through a mock interview.
- Layout child care plans in advance. Obviously, a big challenge to spouse employment is the lack of available, affordable child care. If you have children and want to prevent them from running around like wild banshees in the background and distracting you, ask a neighbor or friend for help. Even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes, you’ll be glad you did!
- Have a question prepared to ask the interviewer. Familiarize yourself with the company and jot down something you’re curious about. It could be the organization’s culture or particular core value. Even if the person interviewing you doesn’t ask for one, put it out there near the end because you want to make sure you’re the right person for the job just as much as they want you to be!
- “Show up” before the official interview time. You’d arrive a few minutes early to a brick-and-mortar interview with copies of your resume on hand, wouldn’t you? Treat this experience the same, and sit down at your remote interview space 10 minutes before kickoff to shake off those nerves. Then, click the login button five minutes before to ensure technology is on your side that day (hey, things happen!). You might be placed in a “waiting room” until the host (aka interviewer) arrives, but at least you’ll be ready.
- Accept & address any computer or Internet problems. Technology is technology. You can be as prepared as possible, but it never fails—something can happen that’s out of your control. Maybe your computer decided now’s the time to stop working or your WiFi cuts out. Whatever problems you’re experiencing, don’t just throw in the towel and ghost the interviewer! Instead, send them a quick message (via the same mode you’ve both been using - whether email, phone, or text) to inform them of the situation and any delay you may be experiencing. If you need to run over to Starbucks to use their WiFi or a neighbor’s house for a computer, do it! Life happens, and they’ll be appreciative of your commitment and quick thinking to carry out the interview.
- Be authentic. You’d be surprised at the things we’ve witnessed—from harsh expressions to phone usage, the TV turned on, wandering eyes, and so much more. That said, show up and be your best self. Do you talk with your hands? Use them! Or are you quiet and reserved? Flash some smiles, keep your eyes on the screen and your attention on the interviewer, and nod your head slightly throughout the conversation. You’ll convey that you’re engaged and interested in the opportunity!
- Send a thank-you note via email within 24 hours. If you want to stand out from the crowd, writing a short and sweet message of appreciation to the interviewer for his or her time will help make a lasting impression. Just be sure to keep it professional while expressing your enthusiasm for the position, a reminder of why you’d be a great fit, and something particular about your conversation that resonated with you. It’s a task that requires very little of your time, but makes a huge impact!
To watch the full Networks Live! On Demand event, click here. Feeling ready to land a remote interview and join one of our 100% remote teams?