We're living firmly in a digital age, where remote working is becoming commonplace. In many companies, gone are the days when all the employee's troop in and sit at their desks from 9 am to 5 pm.
Flexible working arrangements, working from home and hotdesking are all the order of the day, thanks in part to the much-improved connectivity between home and office.
So, it's no surprise that this flexibility and remote way of operating has found its way into the recruitment process. It can make sense that, where possible and appropriate, a first interview is conducted remotely. It saves time both for the interviewers and interviewees and cuts on travelling costs.
But conducting, or being on the receiving end of, a remote interview is still fairly novel and for interviewers and interviewees, the process might seem a little daunting.
Millennials are probably more comfortable with the concept of a remote interview, but for older candidates, used to face-to-face interviews, nerves may well get in the way of providing a great performance.
So if you are asked to take part in a remote interview - probably via phone or video link (using a programme such as Skype) - here are our top tips for making it a success.
Ten top tips for success at remote interviews
If you're a candidate and have been called for a remote interview, either on a video link or via the phone, you may be feeling a little nervous. However, follow our tips for a successful remote interview and you could have your dream job in the bag.
- Make sure you are 100% certain of when and how the interview is to be conducted. Is it via video? Or phone? Or is the plan to hold a conference call you need to dial into? Also, make sure you know who is calling whom. Imagine how you'll feel if you miss or are later for a vital interview because you didn't realise you were supposed to be making the call and not the interviewer.
- Make sure you are in a comfortable and professional environment. By this we mean, make sure you are settled but, just because you are at home, don't take the concept of settled and relaxed too far. For example, sitting at the kitchen table is fine but being interviewed while you're in bed in your PJs may give off 'casual' vibes, even if the interviewer can't see you.
- Similarly, dress professionally, as you would for a face-to-face interview. Whether or not you are on video, it is a good idea to look as well as act the part of the serious candidate. It puts you in the right frame of mind.
- If you are appearing on screen, be aware of what is in the background behind you. For example, you might want to ensure that your clothes airier bearing your damp washing can't be seen by your interviewer! Do alert anyone else in the vicinity that you are conducting an important phone or video interview. The last thing you want is a parent or partner popping in halfway through to offer you a cup of tea or ask if you're free for a spot of lunch!
- Make sure you're rested and ready. Just because you don't have to travel to the interview, doesn't mean you shouldn't ensure you're on top of your game. A late-night the evening before is a no-no.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Just as you would for a face-to-face interview, do all your background research on the company you hope to work for and have questions ready to ask, so you get a chance to demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
- Similarly, see what you can find out about your interviewer(s), as this may help you to reach common ground when you're talking.
- Check your equipment is in working order. For example, if you're relying on a video link because you haven't opened the relevant software programme for some time, and it chooses that moment to do a lengthy update.
- Similarly, make sure you are in an area with good mobile and wi-fi signal, so you limit the chance of being cut off or of having a crackly line.
- Finally, smile- even if you're talking into your mobile. Smiling will help relax you. Speak slowly and clearly, be interested and interesting and, fingers crossed, you'll get an offer or be called through to the next stage.
At 24-7 Staffing, we love helping candidates to prepare for interviews, so if you need any more guidance or advice - or you just want to chat about our current vacancies - why not get in touch with us today.