In light of the Covid pandemic, many interviews are being held remotely via digital meeting platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime and MS Teams. This ensures zero risk for both candidates and interviewers whilst also ensuring the recruitment process continues in a timely manner.

 

Here are some general tips to help candidates prepare for remote interviews:

1. Be prepared

  • The hiring manager will inform you which online meeting platform will be used and depending on the platform, you will be sent a joining link or meeting ID number and passcode.
  • Think about what device you want to complete the interview on - phone, tablet or PC. Use whichever is the most convenient for you.
  • Check the online meeting platform works on your device in advance so you aren't rushing to check this on the day of the interview - if you do have any problems, let the hiring manager know before the day so they can look at other platform options with you.
  • Research the role and company as you would for a face-to-face interview. This will help you to anticipate potential questions and prepare experiences from your career that you can use to demonstrate your suitability.

2. Minimise distractions

  • Switch off device alerts during the interview.
  • If you are in a shared working or home location put a note on your door indicating that you are not to be disturbed.
  • If you have any other devices next to you make sure they are on silent.
  • Avoid having remote interviews in high-traffic areas of your house or in public places. It will not only potentially distract you and other people around you, it may hinder the interviewers being able to carry out a satisfactory interview.

A man tries to work on his laptop with family and pet distractions.

3. Look professional

  • Dress as though you're going to work, even if you're at home.
  • Make sure the background the interviewers will see during the remote interview is free of anything distracting.
  • Many online meeting platforms allow you to either blur your background or set a blank background.

4. Before the interview

  • Have the interviewer's contact details to hand in case you have trouble logging into the meeting platform.
  • Have a copy of your CV to refer to during the interview.
  • Make some notes of key points and examples you want to remember to mention during the interview and have these to hand.
  • Think of any questions you want to ask the interviewers about the role or the company.
  • You might want to log in a few minutes early, so you know all the technology is working and you're not rushing when the interview begins.

Interview checklist preparation

5. During the interview

  • Check that the interviewers can see and hear you clearly.
  • Develop a rapport with the interviewers, keep your voice calm and speak clearly but also be sure you smile and laugh when appropriate, just like you would in person. You want to demonstrate to the other person that you're engaged in the conversation.
  • Leave a few seconds at the end of sentences or after you answer a question to minimise talking over each other.
  • Remember to look at the camera when you're speaking, not your own image or the other person's image, as tempting as that may be.
  • Be mindful that no matter how well prepared you are there may be technical issues. Do not be flustered if the screen freezes or something happens as our hiring managers will be understanding of this. We'd recommend taking a second to centre yourself and asking the hiring manager to repeat their question/your answer so that you can remember your place and add any extra detail to your answer.
  • Don't forget that if technology completely fails then a back-up solution could be an old-fashioned telephone interview so don't unduly panic if you lose connection.

6. At the end of the interview

  • Make sure that you completely end the call at the end of the interview. The interviewer should also be doing this, but a little double-check will ensure that you are disconnected and that the interviewers can't still hear and see you!

 

You can download a PDF version of these top tips for easy printing by clicking the button below.

Download a remote interview guide (PDF 568KB)

A man and woman talk remotely using a laptop.