You have applied for a remote job, and you are really excited that you were called for an online interview.
Many employers already begin to conduct initial interview online, so that they can save time.
However, when you are being interviewed for a fully remote job, you need to be extra careful to show yourself in the best light possible.
You need to be able to communicate effectively during the interview and demonstrate that you will be able to work efficiently away from the office.
And we are here to help you nail your remote job interview by exploring the following questions:
- What are hiring managers looking for when interviewing for remote jobs?
- How to nail your remote job interview?
- What are the questions you absolutely need to prepare for?
So, if you are ready to learn how to nail your remote job interview, stick around.
What are hiring managers looking for when interviewing for remote jobs?
While every company is different and is looking for different traits in their employees, there are certainly some similarities.
And hiring managers will absolutely be looking for a few key traits during your remote job interview, which are:
- Reliability – you need to show the hiring manager that they can count on you to show up to meetings, finish tasks before their deadline, and keep your team updated on your work
- Communication – as most of the communication for remote jobs is done via Zoom, Slack, and email, you need to show the hiring manager that you are comfortable with these types of communication
- Independence – as you would not be working from an office, it is not as convenient to ask your colleagues for assistance, and so you need to show the hiring manager that you are able to find answers for yourself, and only seek out for help when you actually need it
- Organization – as you are working remotely, it is more difficult for your team to keep track of your tasks. You need to show the hiring manager that you are organized enough to constantly keep your team posted on your progress, and thus avoid any unexpected holdups in the workflow
- Conflict resolution – the final thing you need to show the hiring manager that you come prepared to resolve any conflicts that might come into the workplace. That’s important because when your team communicates remotely, a message sent can be interpreted in many different ways, and it can lead to some unwanted miscommunication.
You can probably notice that all these are soft skills, which means that they are not as easily quantifiable as hard skills.
And even though questions about your technical skills are sure to come up, you will notice an increased focus on your soft skills.
How to nail your remote job interview?
Now that you know what hiring managers would be looking for during your remote job interview, it is time to figure out how to nail your remote job interview.
You can do so in just a few easy steps.
Choose the right spot for your interview
When preparing for an online interview, it is crucial for you to find the right place to locate yourself.
You would want to find a place which:
- Has no distractions – you would not want your kids or a house pet to enter the room an interrupt your interview
- Is quiet – you can do an online interview anywhere, but you should make sure that there is no background noise
- Is comfortable – choosing a place you are comfortable with will likely make you feel more confident
- Has a neutral background – most online interviews are done with the webcam on, so you need to make sure your background is not too distracting. If you can’t find such a place, you can always use a virtual background
Test your tech beforehand
It is essential for you to check if all your tech works correctly before the interview starts, otherwise you might ruin it for yourself.
Make sure you check beforehand if:
- Your microphone, webcam, and headphones work as intended
- Your computer runs smoothly
- You have stable internet connection
To be extra careful, you should do a test run of all your equipment before the interview. You can always call a friend a while before the interview to test it all.
Last but not least, close any programs and tabs that are irrelevant. Sometimes you need to share your screen during the interview, and you would want to have closed anything you don’t want the interviewer to see.
Dress just like you would for a live interview
The interview being conducted remotely does not mean that you should not dress up for it.
Even though your co-workers won’t see you on a daily basis, you would want to look presentable during your interview.
Not only would it leave a good impression in the interviewer, but it will also make you feel more confident in yourself.
The key thing here is for you to treat your remote job interview just like you would treat any other.
Be prepared for technical issues
Even if you have already tested all your tech, it might still happen for any unexpected technical issues to occur.
In such a case, you should always be prepared and have a plan B in case something goes wrong.
However, if there seems to be no resolution to your technical issues, make sure you have a way to reach the hiring manager to notify them of your troubles and try to reschedule your interview.
Even though the interview is conducted online, that does not mean that you should wait for the very last minute to join in.
What is best for you to do is sit at your desk about 30 minutes before the interview and make sure all your tech is running smoothly.
Then, you would want to join the meeting 10 minutes before in starts, and wait for the interviewer to join in.
Keep in mind your body language
The fact that the interview is not physical, does not mean that you should not pay attention to your body language.
Just like you would in a physical interview, make sure you:
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer
- Use hand gestures to emphasize what you are saying
- Actively listen to the interviewer, and ask question if something is not clear
- Sit up straight, and make sure your posture is correct throughout the whole interview
At the end of the interview, you will most likely be asked if you have any questions.
That’s the moment when you should show that you are passionate about the job and that you are curious about what the remote job will offer.
Some questions you can consider asking are:
- What is the work environment like at the company?
- Who would I be reporting to?
- What would the KPIs for the role be?
- What does the day-to-day work look like for this role?
- What would my first week at the new job look like?
What are the questions you absolutely need to prepare for?
Just like for any interview, you need to come prepared for some specific questions.
However, when you are being interviewed for a remote job, you need to think about some more different questions as well.
Do you have previous experience working remotely?
That’s one of the questions that you will absolutely encounter for any remote job.
If you have not worked remotely up to this point, you might have some idealized vision of what working from home means, but it actually comes with quite a few downsides.
For example, it gets rather lonely working without colleagues around, and you might struggle to find motivation.
Hiring managers are asking this question to determine if you are actually fit to work remotely, or you would need to have some human contact.
If you have worked remotely in the past, you can simply say something like:
But if you have not worked remotely before, you can try answering in a similar way:
Why do you want to work remotely?
If you have never worked remotely before, you will most likely be asked this question.
That’s because the interviewer would want to be sure that the reason is not based on some false assumptions that working remotely is easier.
To this question, you would want to provide an answer that shows you are mature and aware of the challenges of the remote work.
A good answer to this question would be:
How do would you manage your tasks and time when you work remotely?
When working from an office, it is easy to stay focused and motivated, as the surrounding environment is productive.
However, when working from home, you might find out that it is much harder to not get distracted.
You have occasional check-ins with your team, but during the remaining time, you are the one who is in charge of making sure you get your work done.
The main reason this question for remote jobs is so popular is that the hiring manager wants to make sure you have some tricks for keeping your motivation up while working remotely.
A good answer to that questions would be:
We are all done, now you know how to nail your remote job interview.
Let’s go through all the steps you should take to get the best results once again:
- Choose the right spot for your interview – you need to make sure that there are no distractions around you, your background is not distracting, and that you feel comfortable where you are
- Test your tech beforehand – it is important to test all your tech beforehand, to make sure your interview can go smoothly
- Dress just like you would for a live interview – you need to look presentable, as it will both leave a good impression, and make you feel more confident during the interview
- Be prepared for technical issues – even after checking your tech, it is possible to experience some unexpected technical issues, so make sure you are prepared with a plan B
- Be punctual – make sure you are on your desk 30 minutes before your interview to test your tech, and enter the meeting 10 minutes before its start
- Keep in mind your body language – even when it is not a physical interview, you should treat it as one, and use your body language to emphasize your words, and show you are listening to the interviewer
- Ask questions – at the end of the interview, it is important for you to ask some questions to show that you are excited about the position
Check out the questions that you will most likely be asked when you are being interviewed for a remote position, and prepare yourself to nail your next remote job interview.