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The Top 5: Tips for Successful Remote Interviews

Tips from the trenches to keep your copier career on track

Social Distancing Necessitates Remote Interviews

Social distancing guidelines and the increasing number of shelter-in-place orders doesn’t stop many companies’ need to hire more people. Luckily the technology is already in place to conduct remote interviews, allowing potential employers and candidates to continue the hiring process in safety. Times of great upheaval can also open up new opportunities – now is the time to brush up on your remote interview skills! We’ve written at length about in-person interviewing for candidates and employers – all that preparation still applies to all parties involved, remote interviews just add some key steps:

  1. Prep your space. A poor interview space can ruin the meeting and waste everyone’s time so all parties need to find a quiet, private space with reliable reception or internet connection. If you’re prepping for a video interview, make sure the space is well-lit, professionally appropriate, and not too visually distracting. You want the person on the other end to be focused on you, not your dirty laundry or your cat. Test your space ahead of time with a friend to make sure you’ve accounted for all factors.
  2. Test your technology. This is fairly easy if you’re prepping for a phone interview – just make sure your phone works in your chosen space, that the battery is charged and that you have the correct phone number. If it’s going to be a video interview, make sure that the chosen program is compatible with your phone or computer. If you’re using a computer and webcam, test the camera and mike and take care of any computer updates. Make sure your phone and computer alerts are set to silent during the interview.
  3. Gather your resources. Make sure you have your interview resources close at hand – have the relevant job description, company info, resume, and prepared questions ready for quick reference. You should also have a pad and pen available to jot notes. Avoid taking notes on your computer, if possible – the sound of typing can be distracting, especially if you’re typing on the same machine that you’re using to video chat.
  4. Dress the part. Even if you’re doing a phone interview, still dress like you would for an in-person interview. Dressing the part puts you in the mindset of doing the part. It’s also useful in forcing structure and time-management into the time immediately before the interview. You should be on the top of your game for this – not just rolling out of bed! For video interviews, this is even more important. Make sure you’re wearing clean, appropriate business attire. Pay attention to the colors in your interview space so you don’t clash with other things in the shot. Stick to subtle or solid patterns and avoid very bright colors.
  5. Keep calm. With this preparation, you’ve covered and planned for everything you can control. Unexpected problems can still occur for you or the people on the other end of the line. Accept that internet, app, device issues, etc. may come up. If they do, that’s an excellent chance for you to demonstrate problem-solving abilities and a cool head – and to assess the same from others. Calmly solving the issue and resuming unruffled (or explaining the issue and rescheduling) is a much better look than raging or whining.

For employers and candidates, now is the time to consider your options!