1. Make sure you are ready for remote work
This sounds surprising when speaking of an interview for a remote job. But, really, this is a thing you should consider before you decide for an interview.
We run interviews for remote projects. And surprisingly, there is a significant group of people, who don’t want to work fully remote, but they don’t want to be all the time in the office either. If that’s you, think twice if what you really need is just normal job with occasional remote work possibility.
2. Get your space in order
Once you are sure, that full remote work is something for you, you have to get prepared. As you will definitely have one or more video calls during the process, start your preparations by getting your surroundings cleaned. So take your things, put them into cupboards and make your space look professional.
If you have some controversial posters (or anything like that) in the background, consider hiding them too. Having bongo and “legalize marijuana” flag behind you is definitely not a good idea (and trust me, this is a real case from my interview).
Ah, and one more thing – don’t put your mess in one corner of your room, thinking that it’s enough to have clean space behind you. First, your stuff might distract you during the interview. Second, imagine a scenario, when you suddenly have to move with your laptop and you show all your dirty secrets to your future employer.
3. Remember to dress up!
Have you ever had an idea of coming to a regular interview in your pajamas or tank top? No? Me neither. But somehow it happens that people do that in interviews for remote jobs. Obviously, they rarely switch their camera on, but I had this awkward conversation several times: “Could you please switch on your camera, so that we may see each other? – Uhmm… wait, I need to get dressed”.
So… don’t follow this path and wear normal clothes (smart casual will do the work). A video interview is less formal than an on-site one, but still, you have to look well and professional.
Also, let me just ask you: would you feel professional while going pantless? 🙂
4. Make sure your hardware and software works
How many times did it happen to you, that you started a video call with one of those phrases:
- I can’t see, can we reconnect?
- Wait a sec, I need to find my headphones set.
- I can’t hear you, but it worked yesterday.
You don’t want to start your interview like this. Before an interview, check all your devices and necessary software. Make sure your camera, loudspeaker and microphone work. Close unnecessary software, that my slowdown connection. If you have some time, connect over the video with one of your friends, to see if everything works.
5. Check the time zone TWICE!
This small detail, but an important one. If your interviewers are in another time zone, make sure you meant the same time, while scheduling your meeting. It’s quite funny if you start to ping someone, why he is already not there and they write back – we have a call in an hour from now. It’s less funny when they ping you and you are driving back from your office or doing anything that effectively stops you from being at your interview.
6. Don’t be stressed because of a bad internet connection
Well… we all know that Skype leads the way in sudden connection interferences. Luckily there are currently a few better solutions than that (Google Hangouts, Zoom, Webex), but they also not free from problems. The chances that sudden interference will happen to you are considerable. Don’t worry about that. Just smile, be polite and ask to repeat their question or the sentence they said.
7. Be ready to do the last interview on-site (wherever it is)
The last interview at your potential employer’s office is the usual practice. Your potential employer probably will be willing to meet you in person, even though finally you will work fully remotely. That’s also good for you, as face-to-face meetings are always more valuable than video calls. At the end of the day you will need to set up good relations with your future employer and there is no better way than a personal meeting.
PS If you interview for a job at a reputable company, such trip should be paid by a potential employer. So don’t worry about the costs!
8. Be ready for a short trip at the beginning of your work for setup
Speaking of face to face meetings: some companies go even further and ask you to come for a few days (or a month) for an initial on-site setup. That is generally a good idea, but you should be ready for that. A month abroad might be problematic, when you have a partner and kids and they can’t go with you. So you should think about this after or during the interviewing process.
But on the other side: who doesn’t want to spend a month in sunny Barcelona? 🙂
9. Remote or not – get yourself prepared!
So… read about the company, that you are interviewing for, think about the questions they may ask you, prepare your questions, show some enthusiasm, while interviewing, etc. You should also always check the company you are applying to on Glassdor.com – you can find plenty of tips from people who have already gone through the recruitment process there!
Good luck with your interviews!
About Guest Author:
Mateusz Macha is a CEO & Founder Humeo | Recruitment Geeks IT Recruitment. Speaker at ROC Days, a series of events run by Recruitment Open Community. Hosted panels about effective sourcing, exploring alternative sources and about proper approaching candidates. Big fan of “human-oriented” recruitment and transparent communication. Really speaks IT language, although initially thought that Java is an Indonesian island.