Interviewing remotely is becoming an increasingly common part of interview processes. Not only for those looking at relocating internationally or inter-state, but also when the person you’re interviewing with has travel plans during the interview process, or, the timing of your annual leave means you have an interview whilst away.
There’s no doubt that most people find face-to-face interviews easier – there are visual cues to pick up on and rapport can be easier to build. But in this modern world of technology, it’s important to be able to present yourself remotely via phone/Skype/VC too. Here are some of our top tips for handling these interviews:
- Technical difficulties? These are more common with Skype/VC. It happens and there’s no way around it. When things go wrong: stay calm, don’t allow yourself to get flustered and deal with it in the same way you would if this wasn’t an interview. If there’s a delay, be aware of this and make sure you’re pausing long enough for the other person to jump in.
- Skype interview? A comedy Skype name and picture which is more holiday camp than business meeting might not be the best start. You might want to update your profile or even set up another account for the interviewer to dial.
- Non-visual cues – listen out for words like ‘summary’, ‘brief’, ‘overview’ or ‘detailed’, ‘in-depth’ to give you an idea of how much detail the interviewer wants you to go into when answering a question. Not sure if you’ve given them enough or they want more detail because you can’t see them? Ask. You may only want to do this once or twice but it gives the power back to the interviewer to control the meeting.
- Beware filling the gaps – once you’ve finished your well constructed answer to a question, have the confidence to remain quiet. The onus is on the interviewer to guide the conversation forwards. When you can’t see the person interviewing you it’s harder to let a few seconds of silence pass – you can’t see that they’re making notes, nodding to their colleague or thinking for a moment and there’s a temptation to start talking again to fill the void. Be conscious of this as there’s nothing more frustrating for an interviewer than asking for a brief summary of someone’s career and still being sat there 20minutes later not being able to get a word in to ask the next question.
- Presenting yourself in the best light on the telephone – we often find that those candidates who think carefully about where they will sit to take the telephone call, who still put on their best suit, and, who smile and express themselves physically as they would if sat in the same room as the interviewer, do well. Whilst they can’t see you, these things will give you confidence, put you in a professional state of mind come across positively. Also, don’t fall into the trap with telephone interviews of having a lot of papers with you to refer to. Whilst you might see it as a benefit to a telephone meeting – ie, they can’t see you are referring to this – it means you run the risk of not being fully engaged and “in the moment of the interview” and may hinder your rapport building.
Whenever we set up an interview for you, we will make sure we spend time speaking to you about how to prepare and how to handle the interview in advance.
For more information or to discuss, get in touch with Katie Rosser on +61 2 8211 0495 / Katie.Rosser@seldongill.com