Interviewing Remotely: The New Frontier


You did it! You have a job interview.

With all of these shifts and uneasy moments the past few months, this is a big deal. You should be extremely excited!

And get ready to prepare.

Interviewing remotely and online is different enough from interviewing in person, and 86% of companies hiring right now are doing so on a virtual platform. If you’ve got an interview in the near or hopeful future, there are things you can start working on now.

Set Up Your Shot

Turn on your computer camera and make sure you have great framing. We get over half of our meaning from body language. If the interviewer can’t see you, or can’t connect with you, then you’re going to have a hard time communicating with them.

Make sure there is a light source in front of you and not behind you. If the light is behind you, then you’re going to “blow out” your image. If you’ve never experienced this idea of “blow out” with light, try this: grab your computer and turn on your camera. Stand at a window and put the window in front of you. Now turn around and have the window behind you. See the difference?

Other things you can set up quickly and before the meat of the interview: make sure there is enough space between the top of your head and the top of your camera shot, and know where the camera is. You want this to be at eye level. If you need to raise your computer or camera, keep it simple: a sturdy stack of books or a box works well.

Questions and Points

Make a list of typical interview questions and take some time to write out notes. You’ll also need to practice and spend time saying these things out loud, but spending time brainstorming answers for typical questions like, “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your strengths and areas of growth?” Remember, you want to make sure these answers are specifically for the job you’re interviewing for.

If you don’t have an interview soon, don’t worry! You can still practice general answers to these questions, and more importantly, practice answering questions from points.  

Take Notes

One of the best parts about a remote interview, in my opinion, is the ability to take notes and take them with you. When you’re practicing, if you keep forgetting something, or if you’re tripping on the same words every time, write down the point you want to make. Are you tripping up because it’s too complicated, or because you have to practice more? This leads directly to the next point, but before we get there – take the opportunity to write down a few notes that you can use to practice and use at the moment.

Practice How You Play

This is one of the things that I could see written on my tombstone: practice how you play. The meaning is simple – however you rehearse is how you’re going to perform. If you practice for your interview in your head and quietly to yourself, you’re going to get in the moment and be quiet and in your head.

When you practice for your online interview, do it as close to real-life as possible: either ask a friend to help you prepare or just turn on your camera and practice talking to it as if someone is asking you questions on the other side. The more effort you put into practice, the better you’ll play.

Day of…

Take a breath. Have water. Listen and answer the question being asked. And know, in the moment, you can only be the best version of yourself.


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