Remote interviews via phone and video are a great option if you're applying for jobs overseas or interstate, or trying to arrange potential interviews while managing current work commitments such as travel. Here are five key things to consider if a prospective employer offers a remote interview for your dream job.
- Be accessible. Skype, FaceTime and good old fashioned mobile calling are three of the most popular tools for remote interviewing, so be sure to mention you have a couple or all of these at your disposal in your cover letter, and that you would be available for a remote interview at your prospective employer's convenience.
- Tools and technology. Once your interview time is set, do a couple of dummy-runs beforehand so you can get familiar with the technology and resolve any issues if they come up. During the interview, don't be afraid to acknowledge the technology - particularly in the case of video calling, if you need to ask them to reposition their camera or adjust their sound quality. Trying to struggle through if you can't see or hear your interviewers properly could mean missing a vital piece of information, and your interviewers will be impressed you took the initiative to ask.
- Appearance and mindset. Just because you're interviewing from the comfort of your home, or from a hotel room while you're on the road, doesn't mean you should present any differently than you would if you were interviewing at the office. Dress the part - not just to convey professionalism to your prospective employer, but to help you get into the right frame of mind.
If you're interviewing via video, you may only be visible from the waist up on screen, but don't be tempted to leave your pyjamas or sweat pants on. Not only will it impact your mindset, but it could pose an embarrassing issue if you need to get up to retrieve a copy of your resume or a supporting document.
- Environment and avoiding distractions. Choosing the right space is crucial to a ensuring your remote interview goes smoothly, so consider your environment carefully the day before you interview takes place - you don't want to be worrying about trivial things the day of and lose focus on the things that matter. Consider aspects like good lighting, so your interviewers can see you without sun glare, and tidy any clutter away to keep the focus on you.
Equally important is make your space quiet and distraction-free so you're not interrupted. Turn off the television or radio, put your phone on silent, ask your family to go out for an hour or so, or put a do not disturb sign on your hotel room door.
- Make yourself comfortable. It's crucial to be comfortable during your interview, to help your confidence to shine through and allow you to focus on impressing your prospective employers. Eat a decent meal before your interview, packed with brain food, to keep yourself alert and thinking clearly. Support your posture by sitting in a comfortable, straight-backed chair. Position your computer, laptop or tablet screen at eye level to reduce neck strain. Make sure your environment isn't too hot or cold. Have a glass of water on hand during your interview to relieve any dry throat tickles, and to give yourself an opportunity to pause if you need to think about a particularly tricky question.
Just because you're interviewing from the comfort of your home, or from a hotel room while you're on the road, doesn't mean you should present any differently than you would if you were interviewing at the office.