10 Ways to Ace Your Next Remote Interview

A career survey conducted by FlexJobs reports that 65% of respondents want to work remotely full-time, while another 32% wanted a hybrid work environment.

That's 87% of the workforce that desires some form of remote work.

Clearly remote jobs and interviews are more common today. For one, employers can use them to interview a larger pool of candidates in less time. If you find yourself looking for another job in 2023, you might be asked to join a virtual interview.

Knowing how to interview well over Zoom is now a critical part of most people's career search. Here is how to master the art of remote interviewing in the new year.

1: Test Your Internet Connection

Before the interview kicks off, make sure to test your Internet connection. You can do this with websites like speedtest.net. If your Internet connection is unusually slow, consider looking for an alternative connection.

If you’re home, ask other family members not to stream video or download large files while you’re on your interview. You want all available bandwidth available for your call.

2: Have a Backup Plan

If your Internet connection goes down, know your backup plan. You might continue the interview from your phone. Or, maybe there’s another WiFi network nearby that you can hop onto to finish the call.

Chances are nothing will go wrong, but it does happen. Know your backup plan.

3: Close Other Computer Applications

Before the call, close all other applications on your computer that you do not need for the call. Reboot your computer about 10 minutes before to let your computer's resources free up completely. This helps ensure the video stream is high quality.

Computer applications that compete for your computer's memory, especially those that run behind the scenes, can interrupt resource-intensive video streams, which is the last thing you want when interviewing for a new job. The longer your computer has been on, the more of these apps run on your computer.

Restart your computer before the interview.

4: Find a Quiet Place

Eliminate distractions during the interview by finding a quiet place. Background commotion or screaming kids obviously will disrupt the call. You may recall some of the videos that went viral during the early days of the pandemic, with pets and kids wandering into a business call or TV interview. These were funny, because they weren't interrupting your professional life. Coordinate with a spouse to entertain your kids or take them out of the house during the call.

At the very least, use a room with a door you can close away from the main traffic areas of the house.

5: Use a Well Lit Room

Lighting is essential when on a video call. Reduce background light as much as possible because it silhouettes your face or makes it look dark. Instead, try to find as much natural light as you can to illuminate your face. If natural lighting isn't available, try an artificial light source. The Lume Video Conferencing Lighting Kit is available at Amazon for about $80.

Using a well-lit room will instantly separate you from everyone else.

6: Stay Engaged

It’s easier to be distracted in a remote interview than in-person. Remember to make eye contact with your interviewers throughout the chat and stay focused on the camera.

Practice looking directly into the camera instead of at the video screen when speaking. While it may seem subtle, looking at the camera will help establish a connection with your interviewers.

Position your webcam close to the video screen so your eyes aren't jolting back and forth between monitors as you refocus on the camera.

7: Let Your Personality Shine

Your personality is essential even in a remote interview. Maybe even more than in a traditional interview. Most interviewers care about EQ, or your Emotional Intelligence, as much as your IQ.

Here are a few things that you can do to help improve your EQ on the call:

  • Smile
  • Dress well
  • Use gestures
  • Laugh at their jokes
  • Buy a nice microphone
  • Use a high-quality camera
  • Choose a clean background

8: Wear a Nice Shirt

Chances are you don't need to wear a full suit for a remote interview, but you should still put on a nice shirt. The clothes you wear still make an impression when interviewing remotely. A polo shirt or something similar may be enough.

Don’t just wear ratty shorts or underwear from the waist down! Believe it or not, you might need to get up quickly during the interview – to close a door, grab something from your desk, etc. Avoid awkward moments by wearing pants or nicer shorts.

9: Use a Superior Quality Microphone

Most people don't think about this, but improving your voice's audio quality can make a big difference. A high-quality microphone like the Blue Snowball, available at Amazon for around $50, will reduce echo and drastically improve audio quality.

And, if you're interviewing remotely, a portion of that job will probably be remote anyway. Chalk up the microphone as an investment.

Your interviewers will appreciate crisp audio.

10: Don't Eat!

Drinking water is fine, but don’t eat during the interview.

Keeping a glass of water nearby is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's recommended to keep water or coffee within reach in case your voice gets scratchy during the interview. Of course, use the opportunity to take a sip when your interviewers are talking rather than when you're speaking.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.