How to prepare for a remote job interview

Written by Career Mums

13th May 2020

We’ve recently supported a coaching client prepare for job interviews, corona-style, and here’s a summary of my top tips to help you prepare for a remote job interview.

Since the coronavirus outbreak started, we’ve quickly had to adjust to new ways of working and living. Redeployment and changes to working arrangements have been the most significant in our history as we attempt to stay safe and reduce the risk of infection.  Recruitment activity is still taking place, with most interviews being conducted remotely.

Video-conferencing facilities, such as Teams, Skype or Zoom provide the best way to replicate the in-person experience we are more used to from our pre-corona days. So if you’ve got a job interview coming up soon, here’s our top tips to help you prepare for a successful interview and the all-important job offer.


1. Prepare how you meet the job criteria

Prepare for your job interview thoroughly, taking the detailed requirements for the role, as described on the job spec, and preparing examples from your previous experience of how you can meet their criteria.  How can you demonstrate that you are their ideal candidate.

Create short, bullet point and pin to a wall behind your screen, for easy referral during the interview.


2. Choose your interview space

Whether we like it or not first impressions count.  Carefully consider the best place to position yourself for your interview.  Where possible sit in front of a window with natural daylight (but not too many distractions) to highlight your face so you can be clearly seen by the interviewer(s).

Think about what’s behind you and therefore on view during the interview. Choose a background that is either plain or reflects what the organisation is looking for.  (It won’t look good if you have a chaotic background behind you, if the role stipulates they are looking for someone with great organisational skills).  Think about what the background says about you – look at people being interviewed from home on TV news programmes for examples.


3. Prepare your tech

Ensure your device is sufficiently charged – running out of battery charge will frustrate the interviewer(s) as they will have a tight schedule.  Position your device so that it is the right distance to fit your face – ideally your face should fill around 70% of the screen.   Also position it so that it is the right height – where you are looking horizontally directly into the camera (not looking down or up, but directly across).

We also recommend testing the video conferencing package that is being used especially if this is new to you.


4. Consider your appearance

Back to those first impressions!  Choose something to wear that is not too over-fussy or patterned – don’t let your clothing distract the interviewers from paying attention to your focus of communication – your eyes and mouth.  Dress appropriately for your ideal job – whether this is smart and formal or more relaxed and informal.

Think carefully about jewellery ensuring you remove any clangy bangles that may distract. Use make-up to draw attention to your eyes and mouth.

Choose a colour or item of clothing that makes you feel good and portrays confidence, to help combat any interview nerves.


5. Create a list of questions

An interview is a two-way experience – an opportunity for you to find out more details about the job and the organisation to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.

Create a list of questions to ask the interview(er) at the end of the interview.  It’s also useful to prepare a final statement about your suitability for the role in case you are given an opportunity to say more about your application.


6. Prepare your mind

It’s normal to feel slightly nervous before an important job interview. The key is to find a way of channelling those nerves so that you can stay focused and confident throughout the interview.  Here are some things we recommend you doing ahead of the interview starting:

  • stretching your body and standing in the power pose mode (standing tall and proud with your arms stretch upwards)
  • reminding yourself of a positive affirmation by repeating it aloud (such as “I’m fabulous and ready to receive a job offer”)
  • taking some slow, deep breaths.


Our client followed each of these tips and successfully secured a job offer following her first virtual job interview.

She starts her ideal next role very soon.

And you could do too.


Book a call to speak to one of our career coaches today to see how we can support you to secure your ideal next role.

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