Many of our candidates feel surprisingly relaxed about remote interviews.
But a phone interview can be one of the most critical stages of securing a job. Often, they’re your first touchpoint with the company, and there is a craft to getting them right.
To help you increase your chances of getting hired, we’re publishing a three-part series on navigating recruitment, from surviving the interview to what to do once you’ve got the job offer.
Part two tackles how to prepare for a remote interview. We’ve organised these tips into whether you’re using audio-only or audio and video.
Treat it exactly like an in-person interview
We understand how hard it can be to do this – remote meetings are simply not the same as in-person.
The trick to treating a remote interview like an in-person interview is to first recognise that this is different, and it will always be different. Then try to close those gaps to make it feel as close to meeting you face-to-face.
• Audio-only: Help them ‘see’ you. Remember that people will hear what you’re doing, even if they can’t see you. You’d be amazed by how much difference a smile can make, and standing up also helps you seem assertive.
• Video and audio: Resist the urge to fidget! On the small screen, all these little movements get magnified.
There is ‘more’ of you to observe, so don’t forget the little things
Please avoid calling from cafes or public spaces! Find a quiet spot – and one that you have control over, or that you have rented for the interview. Then post a prominent notice on the door “MEETING IN PROGRESS – DO NOT DISTURB” like the radio presenters.
• Audio-only: The disadvantage of not seeing the other person is that you have to focus your eyes on something else. Find a place away from visual temptation. Also, avoid rooting around for your notes – silences are all the more apparent over the phone.
• Video and audio: Good presentation is a key component of any interview, and this also relates to your background! Untidy spaces will distract the interviewer. If in doubt, find a blank wall. Just because it’s a remote interview, you’re not off the hook with your own appearance. Keep your attire professional. No slogan T-shirts, and definitely no bathrobes!
Focus – and practice active listening
Remember to have to hand a pen and paper, your CV, your passport, and anything you submitted to the company. Having everything beside you will keep distractions at bay.
• Audio-only: You won’t have the benefit of reading an interviewer’s body language, so get into the habit of active listening. What are they saying, and how are they saying it? To reduce the risk of talking over people, wait a few moments to ensure the interviewer has finished their question.
• Video and audio: Invest in a stand if you are using your phone so that your interviewer doesn’t get seasick! Focus on the camera, and switch off alerts and apps
Don’t be late (with anything)
This rule applies to audio and video! No one should be late for the interview. But the same applies to your paperwork. If you are asked for supporting documents or company forms, make sure you have sent them before the meeting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll clarify everything over the phone.
Bonus: Thank your interviewer!
Always follow-up with a thank-you note. It goes a long way.
Have you got an upcoming interview and need help to prepare for it?
Aldrich & Co offers executive coaching wherever you are in your career. Practice your interview skills with us – we will help you present your ‘best self’ and give you guidance on your performance.