How to Handle Remote Job Interviews

If you ever need to do a remote job interview, whether audio or video, fret not, this video offers you tips for you to ace your remote job interviews.

Mikhail:
I was going to ask you about the difference between remote interviews, interviews people do on Skype versus face-to-face interviews. And I think there are many techniques that are universal to all types of interviews, but I’m sure that there are a couple of things that make remote interview a bit different from face-to-face one. And what are some tips, some ideas for the remote interview that might help perform better in remote setting.

Yinso:
So, there’s some advantage and disadvantages of remote interviews. So let’s talk about what’s the advantage of remote interview. Okay.

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
In remote interview, you can cheat. Because they don’t see everything that’s right in front of you. So you can have all sorts of references. You can have the computer open, you can have your resume a little taped up. You can have everything right behind whoever that video camera is and potentially, so actually any backup a little bit more. If it’s an audio interview, it’s even better. You don’t even have to worry about, that something gets inside the view of the camera. And whereas with a video interview, then you got to make sure that whatever aid that you use, they don’t see it. Okay.

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
So there’s certainly that benefit when it comes to remote interview. Now, one thing about remote interview that I have seen, based on the remote interviews that I’ve done is that, and here it comes a disadvantage and the disadvantage is this, okay? The disadvantage is that a lot of people don’t take them seriously.

It’s not that they don’t think it’s not serious, is that they don’t treat it at the level of seriousness that it requires. And specifically the most important part is this. You need to have an isolation from everything else. So basically you should never, there should never be a situation that when you’re interviewing remotely and then your dog just started barking in the background, your kid starting to cry in the background and people can hear that. Or that they hear you that you are in a Starbucks coffee. There is so much noise in the background, right?

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
Yeah. Or anyone that can walk in on you, you should have a locked door. So that way you can lock the door, put up a sign, says no disturbance. Right?

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
And make sure that all the windows are closed, there should not be any sort of noise from outside. You should turn off your phone, unless your phone is used for the audio call. But otherwise you should never have, sorry, go ahead.

Mikhail:
That’s the part that most people forget, because it’s kind of natural to forget to turn off your phone.

Yinso:
You think that you’re watching a movie. When you go to a movie theater, they always ask you to turn off your phone, it’s exactly the same thing here. Unless your phone is that, you’re using your phone for the interview, otherwise turn it off.

Mikhail:
But you see, I can explain that because when you are outside, you’re probably [inaudible] your mobile and at any time you just, okay, so I need to turn it off, but when you’re at home basically, you sometimes forget that you have a mobile because you’re using like, I’m using desktop a lot more than mobile and that’s why kind of nature that I would forget it-

Yinso:
Yeah, that’s fine. But here’s the thing, right? This is the reason why I say that a lot of people don’t treat it as serious as they could because it’s all these little things that seems convenient. And so therefore they don’t do it. But then the interviewer on the other side is totally finds that that noise in the background annoying and the fact that you had to pick up another call they find annoying. Because they feel like you’re not focusing all your attention on the interview. And when that happens, the only person that without get harmed by that impression is the interviewee. So it’s very important for the interviewee to treat it as serious as possible. Find the room, gave yourself locked in, get in a dedicated internet connection, or a phone connection.

Usually, let’s just put it this way. I mean, honestly, if you have a landline, we’re talking about just a pure audio right now. In a pure audio situation, if you have a landline, landline is better than mobile, just because the quality of service on their line is much higher even today than mobile is. Mobile, you can potentially drop the call somehow. If let’s say, I don’t know, some huge truck drove by this area. I know there’s some, your connection got killed, but it’s not going to happen on landline. [inaudible] most of you probably do not have a landline today.

And mobile has improved to the point where it’s very good, it’s good enough for this purpose. So, it’s okay if you just have mobile. But what I’m saying is that if you also have landline, then you should prefer to use landline for this purpose. And then for video interview, obviously you then kind of make sure your internet connection is good because any sort of things that can provide a poor reception, you have to imagine that can count against you. Because you want to put forward as good of impression as you could. So you want to make sure that your internet connection is as good as it can be as well.

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
So these are just some of the very basic things about, it’s like how do you make sure that you prepare yourself very well for a remote interview. Okay. Now, one more thing about remote interview. And this one actually more has to do with the interviewers than the interviewees. But because of everything that I’m talking about here, all these environmental problems, that you want to make sure you can control over. So, what happens is this, what happens is that a lot of time when the interviewers wants to do remote interview, they would try to schedule an immediate interview.

So it’s kind of like this. They will call you up first time and say “Hey, my name is so-and-so. And I’m a interview, I work for this company and we saw your resume and we would like to get an interview with you. Do you have time right now?” That would be the question they ask immediately. Do you have time right now for the interview? So the first time they call you up, they ask you, do you have time right now for interview, and you’re in the middle of, I don’t know, potentially doing some sort of yard work or maybe outside shopping, whatever. So, it’s a very important for a candidate to say, I’m sorry. I’d love to interview with you but right now is not a good time. Can we reschedule? So basically always ask to reschedule so you can prepare.

Mikhail:
Yeah.

Yinso:
I mean, these are the kind of things that doesn’t happen in the in-person interview because the in-person interview, they actually had to bring you in physically. So it’s impossible for them to ask you to interview right now and they know that. But the remote interview, “Hey, I reach you over the phone. Can we talk right now.” See how easy that is. And then, because you might not in the ideal location. So a lot of these problems will occur and you’re not even going to get, be prepared. You might not be in the interview mode even this way. So, always ask to reschedule basically. Then you can get into an ideal situation. Now, everything else about in-person interview techniques will apply similarly to remote interviews. You got to make sure that you speak confidently, the way to answer questions is the same.

And sometimes in audio only, there are certain questions that’s very difficult to come across. So you have to learn how to collaborate over the phone and which can be challenging. And that’s also, I would say as a big topic, so we would discuss a different time. And when it comes to video, basically, I guess there’s one more point. You need to try to make sure that your video is lining up in such a way that when you’re talking to the person, they think that you’re looking into the video.

Cause a lot of time what happens is that, and I think when we’re doing recording, you probably see as well that the, it looks like we’re not looking into the camera. It looks like we’re looking to the side because we’re looking at that person’s face and then you’re also looking to the side because you’re looking at that person’s face. But when the interviewer on the other side, when the other person is looking at what your, how your face show up, they look like, you look like you’re not talking to them. You look like you’re talking to the side, something like that. So you have to practice, you have to practice try to talk in such a way that you’re talking to camera. So that would be one additional thing that a remote interview had to work on.

Mikhail:
I think we can learn it from YouTube. I remember whenever you see some professionally made YouTube channel, these people, no matter what, they have different settings, they have different microphones but they’re always looking at you basically. So that’s kind of a standard, otherwise it’s not [inaudible] good.

Yinso:
I think one way that can be done is to basically try to make sure that the person’s face is like lined up right underneath the camera. So that way, when you’re looking into the camera, then, I mean, when you look at that person, you almost look like you’re looking to the camera. So there’s this one potential trick that can be employed. Another way is maybe have a camera that actually sits right in front of the person’s face. So, you look into the camera before you see, the person’s face is behind the camera. So there are certain techniques that can be employed, but definitely try to talk into camera rather than talking to the side of the camera. Even though that we are more or less used to look at the video chat that people are now looking to the camera, but see, that’s what’s refreshing. If you look into the camera, when the rest of the candidates don’t, it gives you some advantage in that particular room. So when everyone else is looking to camera and you don’t, then you’d be disadvantaged for you.

All right. So that’s, I think these should help people when they are in the remote interview situations. Any other thoughts that you would like to talk about for this question?

Mikhail:
Yeah, I think it’s pretty much well covered. We can carry on with more questions later.

Yinso:
Okay. Awesome.

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