These days, remote-work arrangements are becoming more common, and as such, a growing number of companies are conducting the hiring process remotely as well.
But remote interviews and in-person interviews are very different beasts. Maintaining an engaging discussion with an interviewer can be difficult when that person isn't actually in the room with you, and technology issues can make connecting remotely all the more difficult. If you have a remote interview coming up, here are a few key things you can do to prepare for it.
1. Establish the right space
Many companies do remote interviews by videoconference, since it adds a layer of interaction that's superior to a basic phone call. If this is the case, and you'll be popping up on-screen, then you'll need to set up a professional-looking space to have that interview in.
If you happen to already have a home office, doing it there is probably your best bet. Chances are, that space already looks somewhat put-together, and it also shows your prospective employer that you do, in fact, have a suitable area in your home for doing your job. If that's not an option, then aim for something neutral -- perhaps a corner of your living room, or a chair at your dining room table. No matter what spot you choose, just make sure there's no visible clutter peeking out to distract the person you're meeting with.
2. Look the part
Just as it's important to dress professionally during an in-person interview, you should also do so for a remote interview. Dressing the part sends the message that you're taking the opportunity at hand seriously.
3. Do a tech test run
Chances are, your interviewer will indicate what sort of software you'll be using to connect remotely, whether it's Skype or something else. Before your interview, try a test run with that platform to make sure it works for you. This way, you'll have time to troubleshoot hiccups to avoid having to deal with them on the spot.
4. Eliminate distractions
When you're participating in a job interview from home, there are a number of potential distractions that can throw you off your game, like a persistently ringing landline or a doorbell that sounds at the least-opportune time. To avoid getting too distracted during your interview, aim to address these potential trip-ups beforehand.
For example, you can turn off your home phone's ringer and put a sign on your doorbell saying "Please don't ring" so that a delivery doesn't interfere. Furthermore, if you have a pet, aim to get it situated so that there's no audible barking, whining, or crying while you're trying to sway someone to hire you.
Interviewing for a job remotely can be challenging in its own right, especially if it's your first time doing so. But as is the case with an in-person interview, the more you prepare, the more confident you'll feel going into it.