Remote interviews - Complete preparation guide


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Most candidates have experience with face-to-face interviews, either with one interviewer or with several (panel interview). We live in a time when many companies either by necessity (due to COVID-19) or for reasons of cost savings and flexibility, are interviewing remotely.

There are 4 main types of remote interview:

  1. Video interviews (Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Hangouts, WhatsApp, etc.)
  2. Telephone interviews
  3. Scheduled video interviews (One Way Pre-Recorded)
  4. 9. AI video interviews (AI - Artificial Intelligence with applications such as HireVue, Sparks Hire, VidCruirer, Sonru etc.)

Let's see in detail how to prepare for each type of interview. After the detailed tips on the 4 types of interviews you will find general tips on what to do "before" all the remote interviews and what to do "after" the calls to increase your chances of winning the job!

1) Video interviews

It's done with apps like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Hangouts and WhatsApp. Video interviewing has been used abroad since 2003, but in Greece it has become more popular recently. Let's take a closer look at what you need to do for a successful video call interview:

Technical Preparation - Audio Video (Sound - Image)

  • To have Camera 1080p quality or better, if your device has a lower quality webcam get a better one. Remember to clean the camera lens.
  • To get external microphone with stand connected to your device, not handsfree headphones, lice, etc. So you will have excellent sound quality. Check you don't have an echo - echo in the room, rooms with stuff are usually ok, empty ones can echo.
  • Have a window behind your screen with good natural light or desk lamps that illuminate your face, ideally a lamp behind the left of your screen, and one behind the right of your screen or a ring lamp.ring lamp).

The 80-90% of candidates fail to have quality sound, picture and lighting in video calls. If you invest in the above equipment you will make a difference and win the impressions. You can purchase the above equipment over the internet at prices of 20-30 euros per device. Video call interviews are the future so it is worth the investment. Many candidates have poor quality audio that distracts the interviewer as they sound too low, or too loud, or interrupted. Something similar happens with the picture, many have poor quality camera and look blurry, or the picture is stuck, which also distracts the interviewer since they don't even see your eyes many times.

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pexels photo 3885744 e1586178502541 1024x530 1 - remote interviews

Lighting Preparation

  • Lighting is very important, even if the camera and sound are perfect you need the right lighting. If you have a bright window behind you or a bright lamp behind you your face will look dark, if you have a lamp above you or below you your face may glare or make shadows. So take care of the lighting as mentioned above.
  • Beware, if you have a window in front of you and it's cloudy outside, the lighting will change and make shadows on your face, better close the window and have a lamp behind your screen in front of you. Adjust the lamp so that the lighting is ideal, neither your face looks dark nor white from the bright light.
  • Have a test video call with friends, record it if you want to, to see how you look and sound, ask for feedback from your friends to tell you if anything needs improvement.

Internet and Video Calling Programs Control

  • Download the application if necessary (e.g. Skype) and create an account with a business name e.g. markos.korvesis (if you already have Skype with a pseudonym or change the name if possible or create a new account)
  • Make the video call on a computer (laptop or desktop), and have an ethernet cable for internet if possible instead of WiFi (while closing WiFi and all applications on your computer as well as any other tabs - tabs you have open in your browser). If you don't have a computer and need to make the call with a smartphone or tablet, get a tripod so you can rest it firmly on the table and bring it flush with your eyes. Make sure you have a full battery on your device

Site preparation

  • Have a stable chair, not with wheels (if you move around you will distract the interviewer).
  • Your camera should be at the same level as your eyes or slightly higher than your eyes (put some books or boxes if necessary to keep the camera in the right place).
  • Have only a copy of your CV on your desk, a notebook with a pen and a glass of water (however, avoid writing notes or looking at your CV if possible).
  • Around the camera put post it with keywords you want to remember to ask a question or mention something during the interview (the post it should be around the camera or on your screen, but avoid looking at it if possible so as not to break eye contact with the interviewer).
  • Background, ideally you should have a neutral background behind you, a wall without any paintings, posters, decorations etc. is ideal, all these distract the interviewer's attention, and so do bookcases! So ideally, have a neutral monochrome background behind you. Beware of white walls, they don't always look right. Avoid making the call with a bed or kitchen background.

(Extra tip: Skype has a background blur setting, if you want to activate it if you are making a video call via Skype)

Noise avoidance

  • Turn off all sounds of other devices, no notifications or vibration from mobile phones, landline, alarm clock, radio, TV, etc.
  • You can put a note, if necessary, on the front door so that no one rings the bell, for example. I have a business call, please do not ring the bell, I will be available/available after 5pm.
  • Windows should also be closed to avoid noise. Always choose an enclosed quiet room, not outdoors. If you cannot avoid the above, make sure you inform the interviewer before the interview. Really though, do everything you can to ensure you are alone in the room. It is important that there are no noises or interruptions from children, partners, roommates or pets. You don't want to find yourself in a similar position as our friend below:

Proper Dress and Appearance

  • Clothes: monochrome clothes are recommended, especially blue and grey, make sure they contrast with the background and avoid white clothes (Extra tips: dress in full/whole! Some people put shorts, sweatpants and pajamas underneath but you may have to stand up, don't risk it and make a fool of yourself like the other guy who accidentally spilled hot coffee on himself and suddenly jumped up! Top shirt tie and bottom sleep shorts, beware!
  • Avoid bright accessories and jewellery that can distract the interviewer.
  • Women soft makeup (men if you have a lamp over your head and not in front of you, your face will probably be shiny so like they do on TV it's a good idea to put some on).
  • Hairstyle, shave, be well-groomed in general.
  • If you wear glasses, make sure they are anti-glare, so they don't shine in the light. Alternatively, wear contact lenses or don't wear glasses if possible, otherwise they will be distracting.
  • If you have long hair, make sure it doesn't hide your face.

Before the Interview and the First Impression

  • Drink a glass of water before the interview and have one on your desk (avoid drinking too much coffee beforehand).
  • Ideally do a few minutes of light exercise before the call, you will have better energy and psychology for the interview.
  • Make sure you are on the call 10 minutes early and wait for the interviewer to call you. Don't forget to check the chat to see if he/she has sent you a message before he/she makes the call asking if you are available/available. If 15 minutes have passed since the time you agreed, you call him and ask him if he is available or if he wants to make the call later in the day.
  • Always start with a Smile! Very important to smile and during the call, it improves communication.
  • Visual contact!!!! Most important of all... Look into the camera lens!!! Not the screen, not the window with the interviewer's face, not your own window, you are looking ONLY at the camera lens! That way you maintain eye contact with the interviewer! Put a post it behind the camera with a little face if it helps you to remember to look at the camera instead of the screen.

During the Interview

  • Hand movement, you can make small movements with your hands if you wish but under no circumstances should you have them crossed.
  • Speak clearly and steadily at a pace the interviewer can understand, not quickly.
  • Listen carefully to the questions, if for some reason you didn't hear a question or didn't understand it, ask him to repeat it.
  • Answer each question within 1 minute if possible.
  • Don't read your notes, make sure you remember your answers by heart and look at the camera lens when you speak. To do this you need to practice with friends.
  • Make sure you get the interviewer's name right, a lot of people call me Korovesi when they call me Corvesi, or they call me Mario instead of Marco.
  • Sit with your back straight in the chair.
  • Your communication should have the 3 Es - Energy - Excitement - Engagement.
  • Avoid touching your face and hair.
  • You can share your screen if you want to show a sample of your work to the interviewer.

pexels photo 3987034 1024x683 1 - remote interviews

2) Telephone interviews

It is usually done for an initial brief assessment of whether the candidate has a real chance of competing for the job and lasts 10-20 minutes, but a full interview of up to 1 hour can also take place.

In general, the same advice as the video call below applies, except that the video is not present here. In this case the extra tips and differences are as follows:

  • Make sure you have a glass of water, a copy of your CV and notes, such as what questions to ask the interviewer
  • I also suggest having the LinkedIn profile photo of the person you are talking to in front of you or having a mirror and seeing yourself during the call (research shows that communication improves when you look in the mirror or the photo of the person you are talking to)
  • Smile, the smile "sounds" and improves our communication
  • Make sure you have a good signal on your phone or make sure the call is made to a landline if possible
  • Prefer to have headphones when talking on the phone to avoid noise and not having to hold the device during the interview
  • Dress normally as you would dress for a face-to-face interview, it creates a professional attitude and mindset
  • Although they seem basic, I have to say... Don't eat, don't chew gum and don't smoke during the interview
  • Many telephone interviews are delayed up to 15-30 minutes to start. There are usually other interviews taking place before you, so if one is delayed, they are all delayed. Be understanding to the interviewer and make sure your schedule has no commitments after the call so that you are available to take the call later.

3) Scheduled video interviews

These are One Way video calls, which means you make a video call in a program without talking to an interviewer. The same tips apply as for a video call. The difference here is that the employer sends you a link. The purpose is to get you into the specific website, where he has prepared some questions for you with time to answer. So you talk to the camera for each question and you usually have up to 30 seconds to reread the question and get ready and 1-3 minutes to answer. The basic tips here:

  • Read the question carefully twice before answering
  • Answer in the time given to you

You can answer in less time if you want and post your video answer.

Attention! The answers are usually recorded 1 time with no possibility to delete some and answer it again! So good preparation to answer all of them correctly. Also there is a chance that some answers may be in writing without video.

Facial recognition woman 2 - remote interviews

9. AI video interviews

Many will not be aware that there is such a type of interviewMany people will not know that this type of interview exists, and yet it does. According to research I conducted from 2011-2013, apps like HireVue, Sparks Hire, VidCruiter and Sonru, evaluate interviews through artificial intelligence. They use video evaluating up to 25,000 features. Features such as facial expressions, tone of voice, enthusiasm, eye contact, smile, creative thinking, and more! This interview can last up to 40 minutes and evaluates your bot app! Large multinational companies use this type of interview to save time and money. It applies almost the same as video calling, let's see how to beat the bot in this interview:

  • Visual contact with the lens
  • Natural smile and enthusiasm with positive energy
  • We repeat the question of the bot in our reply and we answer it
  • We answer with keywords and key phrases (read the ad carefully before the interview, the robot will check if we mentioned keywords and key phrases in the ad), with this tool by copying and pasting the description of the ad it will find out which are the strongest keywords www.wordclouds.com/ (After you copy the description of the ad, open this site, select File, then Paste/Type Text, paste in the window that opens, click apply, and then select the Word list and see the strongest keywords)

You may not come across this type of interview in Greece, but you may find it in front of you in the future. Abroad, however, it will soon be in all large multinationals. Therefore, if you apply abroad, especially England and USA, don't be surprised.

Are you ready to cope with the most demanding interview?

Trust LeadCompass' certified LeadCompass consultants to prepare you properly for an interview!
Contact us at 2313 068 480 / [email protected].

Other articles in the theme "Interview" :
40 interview questions you can ask your potential employer!
6+1 secrets to stand out in your next interview
7 types of job interviews and 3 that will shock you!

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