Updated: May 29, 2020
Right off the bat, let us just say that if you’ve managed to land yourself an interview, in the current climate, you already deserve a prize. Cause with all the companies currently in the midst of hiring freezes or even worse, laying off their staff, that had to have taken some dedication and hard work.
We're having a 30 second team dance party in your honor
But, with the Coronavirus wreaking havoc on the world, and social distancing being the new buzzword, it’s more than likely that you wouldn’t be rocking up to their office for the interview. While remote interviews are the new normal, they’re all still pretty new to most of us, here’s what you need to know:
Do Some Prepwork!
There seems to be a tendency to think that because the interview is remote and online, there’ll be more slack than a regular interview. Let’s get it out of the way now - there isn’t and you’re still being assessed. So prepare yourself as you normally would for an interview. If you’re a bit rusty about interviewing and not sure where to start, check out our comprehensive guide to all sections of a technical interview.
It may also be worth checking out which platform the company performs its video interviews on, just so you’re not finding out that you need to have it downloaded and scrambling to get that done 5 minutes before the interview.
Getting Set Up
Okay so on to why you’re here in the first place. One of the most important things you can do beforehand is to test to make sure everything works, and that you’re on the right internet connection. You don’t want to start the interview with 15 minutes of “can you hear me?”, because that wouldn’t accomplish much other than to potentially annoy your interviewer, and make you even more nervous.
Some other things you can do include:
Scouting for a quiet location to have the interview, so this doesn’t happen
Use headphones to prevent strange echos
Test the sound to make sure the microphone is picking up your answers\
If your interviewer asks you for a video interview, remember to check that your webcam is working properly beforehand, and that your background isn’t something you wouldn’t want the interviewer to see. Also, get fully dressed. While we all expect to be sitting down and talking to the interviewer, you never know what may come up that may need you to stand.
You may also want to place a post-it on the top of your screen with notes, because it’s pretty easy to tell if your eyes are darting to your notes on the screen. It also helps to have everything you need like a drink, your notepad and resume close by so you don’t have to look for them when you do.
Focus on communicating
Between the internet connection, possibly grainy sound and video, it may be harder to convey your responses to the interviewer as compared to an in-person interview. So try to focus a bit more on articulating and speaking slowly, to ensure that your interviewer is able to catch everything you’re saying.
Be prepared for coding questions too
Remember, it is still a technical interview, and where you may have been asked to do a whiteboard test, they may instead ask you to complete a virtual coding question on the spot, which we know - is pressure. So if you’re understandably a bit uncomfortable with having to code while on a video call, try getting one of your family members to work in front of you while you’re trying out a coding question before the interview. And if you need to, don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer for a break in between coding.
It may be a pre-recorded interview
Most of the time, you’ll have the interviewer engaging with you on the other side of the screen. But there are some companies that may use pre-recorded interviews as a preliminary stage. Instead of being connected to an interviewer, you’ll be prompted to answer a few questions on screen, and you’ll be able to record your responses.
While it may feel a bit unnatural to most people, the good part is that most of the time, you’re able to re-record any answers a set amount of times, so no worries if you mess things up the first round. But to save you some time, you can try imagining an interviewer sitting in front of you, or sit a stuffed toy there and talk to it instead.
Just like any other interview, doing well and finding what works for you in a remote interview setting takes time and practice, so it may also be worth it to get someone to practice the interview with. And if you need any help with it, you can always get in touch with us too for a more in-depth discussion on how to ace your interview.