Remote Interview Guide: 8 key tips to ace a video interview

Congratulations, you managed to get your foot in the door with an impressive resume and application! But to land your dream remote job you need to ace the video interview. The major difference from office jobs is that for remote positions, probably all of your interviews are remote as well. The possibility of meeting your future team before starting with the team is relatively low. Often companies bring people together for on-boardings, but not during the hiring process. Besides showcasing your technical skills, it’s crucial to convey your communication style, personality and goals – all in a video interview. 

Remote companies almost always request candidates to complete at least one video interview at some point in the hiring process. Due to the challenges associated with remote work, companies need to assess your remote-readiness in addition to making sure you fit the role and team. 

Difference between asynchronous and synchronous video interviews 

There are essentially two ways to carry out a video interview: asynchronously or synchronously. 

video interviews are different from regular interviews

Remote video interviews are different from regular interviews.
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Asynchronous video interviews usually take place in the early stages of the application process.  Applicants are requested to answer pre-defined screening questions by recording them as videos. Then the recruiter evaluates the answers at a later time. Keep in mind, recruiters and hiring managers are busy professionals who appreciate a concise presentation of yourself instead of a 10-minute monologue.

Synchronous video interviews are scheduled live video calls with recruiters and hiring managers involved in the hiring process. Recruiters will share a video conference link (for example on Skype, Zoom, Hangout or GotoMeeting) that will connect you directly with the interviewer. 

Whether or not you’re used to speaking on camera, we are here to help you create the right impression and present yourself in the best possible way. You have landed an interview already? Great! But even if not, it doesn’t to practice in front of the camera to make sure you ace any video interview when the time comes.

Video Interview Guide: How to succeed at video interviewing in 8 steps

1. Sleep well

Get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview. A well rested mind helps you remain focused and alert during your interview. If you find yourself unable to sleep well, try some relaxation exercises, for example with Headspace or Calm, to take your mind off the interview. 

2. Dress for the job

video interview dress code: just like for a regular interview!
Video interview dress code: just like for a regular interview!
Photo by Andrea Natali on Unsplash

Doesn’t matter if you are attempting the video interview from the comfort of your own home, you need to dress for the job. Treat it like a regular interview, prepare the same way. Dressing right for the part helps your mind register the seriousness of the task. Your attire and level of formality should match the company you are interviewing for.

3. Articulate clearly and concisely

Remote companies are looking to understand your experience, achievements, culture fit and industry expertise. Its best to prepare your elevator pitch, and how can you tie your quantifiable accomplishments to the company’s goals. To get the answer right, you need to make sure you have researched well.

Our career coach can help you prepare for the interview questions providing you insight into the hiring manager’s mindset, you can schedule your sessions now.

4. Test your technology and environment

Double-check your audio, video,  internet connectivity, and interview link before you participate. 

Pay attention to the lighting and how you appear on camera. Make sure you are not positioned against light to avoid any shadows on your face. Always position the camera at an eye-level and maintain an open body language at all times. To use body language, check your distance from the camera. You should show your entire face, neck and part of your shoulders, similar to a passport photo. Gestures can play an important role in expressing yourself, so don’t hesitate to use them. 

It’s advisable to make note of the contact number listed in the interview link in case you encounter technical difficulties. Make sure to dial in to check if you can continue over a call or would like to reschedule.

For asynchronous video interviews, attempt to record the video with your laptop camera and not your phone, it helps maintain better quality and eliminates a shaky recording. Make sure the audio picks up your voice and the hiring manager has an easy time listening to you.

5. Eliminate distractions 

Make sure you record in a quiet, comfortable space with zero distractions. Close all browsers and set your phone on silent. Avoid windows, a wall full of pictures or any kind of clutter in the background. The key is to eliminate any distraction that distracts the hiring manager’s attention.

If you are interrupted by a family member or pet, apologise for the interruption. Then ask if it’s okay to mute yourself and turn off your camera to deal with the situation. Of course it’s better to eliminate potential distractions before the interview, so this situation does not even come up.

6. Research the company and its communication style

Less is NOT more when it comes to getting to know the company you will interview with. Besides researching the company’s development and products, look up the interviewer as well. In addition, it’s important to know about the company’s communication style. In a remote environment, communication is key. Make sure to highlight your ability to work with various communication and project management tools. The video interview is a good way to let your personality shine as well, so be authentic to the way you communicate. This way you’ll both see if there is a mutual fit. 

7. Relax! You got this.

Believe in yourself! All the research and practise will pay off. Make sure to have your resume and, if that was required, cover letter, close by. Don’t forget to prepare a beverage, or just some water. Taking a sip can be a nice break to think about your answer. When you do answer, speak slowly to be heard. Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewers questions. These could be about the on-boarding process or current challenges of the team. Use your chance to get insight to the company and the role.

8. Show your appreciation at the end of the video interview

Similar to how you would thank a hiring manager in person, it’s always recommended to close an interview with a note of appreciation. You can briefly reinforce how you are a perfect fit and what interests you most about the role and company. 

At acework, we encourage companies to assess the quality of candidates by asking specific screening questions for each position. The company decides whether the answers have to be written, or pre-recorded videos. Companies using video answers find that they save time in assessing the candidate later on in the hiring process. 

If you are building a remote team, we are always curious to learn from companies about their remote hiring best practices and challenges. Get in touch and let us know your ideas and best practices at hello@acework.io.

If you want to find remote work, sign up to match with opportunities. If you have any questions, comments or ideas get in touch with us directly at talent@acework.io.
Not quite ready for the interview? Work on your interviewing skills with our coach. With real-time feedback, you’ll be interview-ready in no time. We also conduct monthly live sessions for candidates to get remote ready. Sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop.

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