Following the rapid increase in virtual work two years ago, it became more important than ever before for job seekers to position themselves as ideal remote candidates in addition to being well-suited for the role. While there has been some transition back to in-person work, remote interviews — and roles themselves — are seemingly here to stay, at least in some capacity.
Given this, how can job seekers position themselves as uniquely equipped for remote work? Whether you’re looking to establish, develop, or simply fine-tune your skills in the virtual work world, we’ve highlighted a few key ways you can gain an edge over the competition.
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Prepare for the Virtual Interview
You’ve just received news that you’ve landed a virtual interview. Now what?
With the increasing predominance of technology as part of our day-to-day lives, it’s important to ensure you already have the appropriate technologies such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and others prior to your interview or start of your remote role. Double-check your invite to ensure you’ve downloaded the same tool used by the interviewer.
Because a virtual interview requires no commute, it can be tempting to assume you’ll be on time. After all, joining requires just a few clicks. Yet from last-minute timing changes to updated meeting room links to connection issues and others—unexpected hurdles can and do arise even with something as seemingly simple as joining a video chat. For this reason we recommend checking five to ten minutes beforehand that everything is working seamlessly.
Once you’re in the room, test out your video, sound and lighting. As always, make sure your phone is on silent and will not cause a distraction during the meeting. We also encourage our talent to dress just as they would for an in-person interview.
Have Examples of Your Remote Workstyle
Remote work has its own unique requirements. When interviewing for the role, you may be asked for real-life examples of your success working virtually. This is your moment to establish trust with the hiring manager and provide suggestions on why you are not only uniquely equipped for the role itself, but in addition, are prepared for the distinct challenges of working remotely.
Here are a few tips:
Be ready to share your motivations and commitment to a routine. Highlight your work station and how you block/organize your time during the day.
Express the importance of communication and how you stay organized. Managers want to hear that you are available for daily touch points, virtual meetings and updating team members on your progress via a communication tool such as G-chat or Slack.
We find it helpful to share with managers what your process looks like if you need to step away during the day. Perhaps you send an email to the team that you are taking a lunch and/or stepping away. Doing so will set expectations as to your whereabouts. We also suggest explaining your calendar to a manager and sharing the calendar, so members of the team can be in the loop on what your day looks like. This will contribute to better scheduling and time management.
It is also important to have examples of how you have overcome obstacles or struggles in a remote environment just as you would prepare for a regular interview.
Do Your Research
For an in-person interview, you would prepare to speak to the organization’s brand, value, and mission statement.
A remote interview should entail the same. If anything, it is even more crucial to thoroughly research the company beforehand, as you will not have the opportunity to go onsite and get a feel for the company culture and overall organization. We recommend visiting the company’s website and social channels to read their marketing materials, “About Us” section, and any other written resources that may help enhance your understanding of the company’s unique characteristics and the role’s distinct demands.
Finally, research the hiring managers themselves. It may be useful to browse their Linkedin page, see how many years they have been employed with the company, and get a general sense of what their career path has looked like up until this point. Doing so will help you come up with any questions you may want to ask and help propel the conversation forward.
The bottom line is that remote interviewing and virtual work pose many of the same challenges of an onsite role in addition to the unique hurdles of communicating exclusively via technology. Keeping this in mind while using the above tips to help inform and sharpen your approach to interviewing for a remote role will ultimately help improve your chances of landing the job. Good luck!
Would you like to connect with a Staffing or Recruiting Expert as you navigate the job market? Contact Cella!