7 Tips To Elevate Your Remote Job Interview & Land That Role
Remote Job Hunting
Ready to take your remote job interview skills to the next level? Use these 7 pro tips to impress remote hiring teams & advance to the next round now!
Want to take your remote job interview to the next level?
You may think you’re a top candidate because your impressive resume and cover letter scored you an interview. But you may have just done a fantastic job beating the company’s application tracking system (ATS).
Interviews are where hiring teams scout the best of the best. You’ll be competing with the highest caliber talent from all over the world for this position, so now’s not the time to wing it.
Hiring teams use remote interviews for a quick vibe check of their candidates. They’re looking for confident, qualified employees who thrive in the independent remote work environment.
So that’s exactly what you need to show them.
The remote job interview tips we’re sharing in this guide cover all your bases, so you can make a memorable first impression and score that dream role.
7 Tips To Elevate Your Remote Job Interview & Land That Role
While your remote job interview may take place over the phone, it’s more likely that your potential employer will use a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Skype.
These virtual platforms allow teams to get to know you on a personal level and see how comfortable you are using remote tech.
Our guide to acing your virtual interview outlined how to make this a success. We covered topics such as:
- What you need to test beforehand (your webcam, microphone, headphones, etc.)
- How to set up and familiarize yourself with the video app
- The best places to hold your interview
- What to wear during your virtual interview
- Virtual interview etiquette (especially making eye contact and minimizing background noise)
Check out that guide to get the full scoop on each of those components before your interview. When you’re ready, you can move on to these tips:
1. Frame the Shot Like a Pro
Your home office is the best place to hold your remote job interview. It assures potential employers that you have a productive workspace you can jump into on day one when they hire you.
But if you don’t have a home office yet or prefer to work at coffee shops or coworking spaces, that’s cool too. Just make sure you find somewhere with minimal distractions and background noise, or it could be difficult for your interviewer to focus on what you’re saying.
No matter where you choose, open the video app you’re going to use and try to frame the perfect shot. Center yourself in the middle of the screen, find some bright, natural light, and clear away all the clutter or unprofessional knickknacks you can see in the background.
Your background says a lot about you to potential employers. So if you’d rather maintain a bit of privacy or have a more professional look, see if your video app has special background features.
Zoom lets callers blur their backgrounds or use virtual backgrounds. They even have a low light setting to combat a dark room and a “Touch Up My Appearance” feature to enhance your natural beauty.
2. Keep These 4 Things Handy
Once you’re on your remote interview, you’re pretty much locked into that spot. So you may want to set out these things the night before. Then you’ll know they’ll be there when you need them during your interview:
1. A cheatsheet about the company. Never show up for a remote interview unprepared. Research the company, their industry, and their competitors, and keep this intel close to bring up during your conversation.
Jot down a few notes about:
- What the company has been up to
- Major personnel shifts (like a new CEO)
- What they share on social media
- Recent news or press releases
- New product/service launches
Speaking about these points shows you did your homework and are eager to join the team.
2. A cheatsheet about you. Print out a copy of the job description, and highlight all the skills, qualifications, experience, and education you have. You definitely want to mention these to convince hiring teams you’re The One.
3. Your online portfolio or website. Building a personal brand boosts your career in so many ways. But what are the chances a hiring team has seen your flawless code or stunning graphic designs?
So keep your digital portfolio open in a separate window, and share your screen with the interview panel when the chance comes up. You’ll definitely gain a leg up on your competition and show teams you’re a self-starter who thinks ahead.
4. A notebook and pen. You can jot down questions about the company and the position you’d like to address. You should also take notes during the interview, so you can ask more thoughtful follow-up questions.
Try to avoid typing notes during your interview. Your keyboard will make a ton of background noise and you’ll be unable to maintain 100% eye contact, which are both huge no-nos.
3. Prepare for These Remote Interview Questions
Being caught off-guard by an interview question can knock you off your game. So come up with sharp answers to these common remote interview questions:
1. Do you have experience working remotely? If you do, awesome! Hiring teams know you’ll be able to deal with the challenges that remote work brings. Let them know about the remote work tools you’re familiar with, how you like to prioritize your workload, how you communicate with teammates, etc.
No remote work experience? No worries! Highlight your transferable skills as they relate to the position and explain why you’re excited about the work-from-anywhere life.
2. Why do you want to work remotely? Don’t fall into this common trap. Even if the honest answer is because you hate commuting and love working with your fur babies, always reframe the answer as how you can help the company.
Are you more productive at home? More creative? Use these selling points.
3. How do you stay focused when working remotely? Tell potential employers how you like to organize your WFH schedule, prioritize tasks, and manage deadlines. Talk about what you do to refocus when you’re distracted. Mention how you ask for help when you’re feeling burned out.
4. How do you collaborate and communicate effectively with remote team members? Show teams how much you love asynchronous communication by diving into all the tools you use to keep in touch. Discuss your experience with project management software, messaging apps like Slack, shared workspaces, etc.
5. What’s your expected salary? Check out this guide on How To Answer the Salary Expectations Question for a full rundown.
The best way to practice answering these common interview questions is to schedule a mock interview with yourself (and record it) or with a trusted friend. Practice different answers, then think about which ones you wanna tweak before the big day.
4. Tell START Stories
Always use the START method when you’re asked to describe a time in your professional life when you’ve had to overcome an obstacle or complete a difficult task. This acronym stands for describing the [*]:
- Situation or scenario
- Task you needed to accomplish
- Action you took
- Results you achieved
- Tie back, or how this experience primes you for the new role
Every story should tick these boxes, show off relevant skills you’ll need for this job, and prove why you’re more than capable of tackling the challenges this new position brings.
Never badmouth former employers or coworkers, even if they did you wrong. You don’t want to come off as a “problem” employee to interview teams. Instead, reframe the situation by explaining what you learned from the experience and how it made you stronger.
5. Ask At Least Three Questions To Show You’re Serious
Remote job interviews are a two-way conversation. You need to figure out whether a top remote company is right for you too.
Asking follow-up questions when there’s a natural opening in the conversation is one way to sleuth out more intel. The other? When the interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end.
Always ask at least three questions here. This level of interest shows you’re serious about the company/role and that you were paying attention. Insightful questions prove you’re a good listener. And thought-provoking questions leave a memorable first impression.
In our guide on The Top Questions To Ask Remote Companies in Your Virtual Interviews, we shared over 70 questions you should consider. They span categories such as:
- The company culture, core values, and mission
- Their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)
- How success is measured and the company’s future goals
- Expectations, job duties, responsibilities, etc. of the position
- How the team works remotely
- How employees are managed
- Employee development / career advancement
Before your interview, log a few questions you’d like answered in your notebook. Cross off all the ones your interview panel answers during your call, so you don’t make them repeat anything.
Hiring teams see a big red flag in candidates who don’t ask questions. They think a candidate’s silence says they either don’t care enough or think they know more than they actually do, which are both terrible impressions to give.
6. Run Through the Next Steps in the Hiring Process
As your virtual interview winds down, your interviewer may provide an estimated timeline of when they expect to finish conducting interviews and make a decision. If they don’t mention this, you can ask:
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- When do you aim to fill this role?
- Do you have any concerns about my ability to fulfill the job requirements?
- How can I prove I’m the right person for this role?
- May I contact you if I have any other questions?
- Will you contact all interviewed candidates or only the one who received the role?
Knowing these answers may lessen your post-interview anxiety and help you:
7. Send a Thank You and Follow Up Email After the Interview
These two pieces of correspondence separate the basic applicants from the pros. To stand out as a stellar candidate:
Send a thank you email after the interview. Thank your interviewer for their time and let them know how much you appreciate the chance to be considered for the role. Mention how much you’d love to work for the company, thanks to your great conversation.
Send this email, text, or social media message within 24 hours to stay top of mind.
Send a follow up email after the interview to touch base. Hiring teams are super busy these days, so if someone hasn’t had a chance to follow up with you, it’s totally cool to reach out first.
Be professional here (i.e., don’t send 15 LinkedIn messages in one day). Let them know you’d be happy to answer any other questions they may have. And that you look forward to hearing back about the role you’re super excited about.
If you find out the company chose another candidate for the position, thank the team for their time and ask them to consider you for another job in the future.
Now You’re Ready To Conquer Every Remote Job Interview with Confidence!
Don’t let remote job interviews stress you out. If you score one, it means someone from the best remote companies hiring wants to speak to you about your impressive resume. So use today’s tips to wow them!
🎓 Check out the We Work Remotely Learning Portal for more tips to begin and thrive in your remote career. You’ll find free help with resume writing, networking, career coaching, and so much more!
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