How To Tackle Remote Job Interviews


As a job candidate nowadays you are very likely to experience one or two types of remote distance job interviews. Telephone and Skype job interviews are used by employers and agencies more and more to shorten the recruitment process, overcome location barriers and bring down costs. In this post, guest authors The Carling Partnership have prepared tips for you to successfully tackle both types of remote job interviews.

Video Chat/Skype Job Interview Tips

A US survey back in 2011 reported that 1 in 6 employers used video chat job interviews in their recruitment process. In 2012 this figure jumped to 4 in 6 employers. The key to acing the video chat job interview is location and preparation.

Choose The Location – Take into account the settings behind you and background noise. Both can undermine your chances if they interfere in the interview. The area should include the least amount of background noise possible, include plenty of light and crucially, appear respectable for the occasion.

Download, Install and Configure on Time – If the agency or employer asked you to use a specific software, such as Skype, be sure to get it ready well ahead of time. Just before the interview is due to start isn’t the appropriate time to download, install and configure the software. You might also find that installing the software on two devices, for example on your laptop and tablet will come in handy if your default device encounters a problem.

Take a Mock Interview – Practice makes perfect, as you probably know. Before the real deal, schedule a mock interview with a friend, family member or even with the agency (if you have already been interviewed by them) to test your knowledge of the software, to test your device (speaker and microphone) and to help alleviate your nerves.

During The Interview – An important tip is to establish and maintain eye contact with the interviewer during the interview. You can do this by looking at the webcam directly and avoiding letting your eyes wonder off. To help maintain eye contact with the webcam, move the chat video nearer the webcam so when you are looking at the camera, you are looking at the interviewer. If you are on a laptop, remember to keep looking in to the camera as much as possible. Try putting the laptop on a pile of books so it is head height to avoid that head down unflatering angle when being interviewed.

Telephone Interview Tips

The phone interview is the most cost effective interview type for employers and recruiters and therefore you are almost certain to come across it during your career progress. The key to acing the telephone interview is the quality of the line and your behavior.

Choose The Device – In most areas, landlines still offer the best quality of call and if possible, you should favour landlines over mobile or voice over IP phones.

Dress For The Occasion – Countless studies have demonstrated the cognitive affect that dress code has on the mind. Dressing professionally head to toe will help your mind get in to the right state of mind needed for the challenge.

Avoid Interruptions – Switch off your mobile phone or put it on silent mode. Close the door behind you, or window if the outside is noisy. If you are using a cordless phone, attempt to take the call close to the base unit to avoid dead spots. If you do use your mobile phone, take the landline off the hook in case it rings half way through your interview.

During The Interview – Avoid raising your voice or shouting as it will distort your voice rather than amplify it. Don’t eat or smoke during the call. You may drink if you need to, but avoid eating. You may also find it useful to stand, even walk around and perhaps use hand gestures to help get your points across. Just don’t pace yourself out of breath!

The idea is to use these phone and video chat interview tips hand in hand with traditional job interview tips. Research, taking notes and preparing questions are essential for any type of interview.

This post was written for Alice's blog by The Carling Partnership. They are an international search and selection company in the drinks and brewery jobs sectors. The Carling Partnership works across different sectors offering jobs in distilling, cider and wine.

Alice Stapleton

About Alice

Alice coaches those who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. She offers Career Coaching designed to help graduates, early to mid-level career-changers, and parents returning to work gain a clear vision of what career is right for them, and how to achieve it. She is also an accredited Coach Supervisor, and host of The Career Change Diaries podcast.