10 tips for nailing a remote job interview

Remote Job Interview
Remote Job Interview


Remote-first businesses have been pondering how to interview, hire, and train new employees without ever meeting them face to face for years, and you can learn from them and the people who have worked for them. If you’re applying for a job or just starting your hunt, you can improve your chances of getting the job by preparing for a remote interview.

Remote workers are acutely aware of their communication style. They have their own protocol for meeting participation. They also encounter distinct issues and questions than office workers. While many people are new to working from home as a result of the pandemic, others (like me) have been doing so for years.

Here are 10 tips to help you schedule, prepare for, and perform your best in a remote job interview, based on my own experiences and conversations with others who have been hired after remote interviews.

  1. Write in a clear, concise, and monotonous manner.

When applying for remote positions, you’ll most likely communicate with the team by email first. Written language is a hot topic among remote employees who must pay special attention to how they communicate. Set away irony, humor, and subtleties. Make your statement as precise and succinct as possible. Make sure to make your LinkedIn profile look as well if you are referencing it in resume or email.

Every email and message must be clear in both content and tone, not only throughout the hiring process but also while working remotely. No one wants to be left in the dark after reading a message “Is she irritated with me? Is it necessary for me to redo the work?” When people are separated by time zones and geography, a single cryptic message can quickly turn into something no one meant.

Begin immediately to fine-tune your sensitivity to the team’s communication style. Pay attention to their writing style. To convey joy, bewilderment, or to explain their tone, do they utilize exclamation points and emojis? Pick it up on and, if you’re comfortable with it, reflect it in your responses. If you do, the team will notice, and if you don’t, they will as well.

  1. Don’t reply to every email right away.

Finding work-life balance is essential for happiness and long-term success, according to successful remote workers. When a team expresses interest in you as a candidate, don’t feel obligated to respond to every email immediately, especially if it occurs after hours.

The speed with which you respond is determined on the situation. Wait until the morning to respond to a non-urgent email that arrives at 9:45 p.m. However, if you receive an email late at night about scheduling an interview the next day and time is of the essence, everyone will appreciate it if you react as soon as possible. When you respond to emails promptly but not compulsively late at night, you demonstrate that you recognize the importance of work-life balance. That’s a quality that employers should look for in remote workers.

  1. Discuss time zone during interview

Never assume someone is in the same time zone as you when organizing a remote work interview. Mention your time zone using proper language, as well as the difference between it and UTC, GMT, or your counterpart’s time zone. Don’t be scared to look these things up to make sure you’ve got everything correct. Keep in mind that some regions are affected by daylight saving time while others are not.

Let’s imagine you’re in Brasilia and your contact is in Denver. You might say, “My time zone is Brasilia Standard Time (GMT -3). I’m 4 hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time now. Can we talk at 12 p.m. MST (4 p.m. BST)?”

Always offer and confirm timings in your contact’s and your own time zones. It clears up any ambiguity and allows everyone to spot a time conversion issue.

Team Discussion
Team Discussion


  1. Propose a variety of ways to meet.

When a potential employer inquires about your availability for an interview, offer several options. Provide your phone number, Skype ID, Google Chat Hangouts name, WhatsApp number, and any other information that is relevant. Although the team may already have a favored way, providing multiple options demonstrates that you are proactive in terms of facilitating communication. Again, remote workers are aware of this and will be aware of it.

  1. Set Up Your Workspace

A video conference interview for a remote employment position is almost certain. Take a few moments to set up your workspace. Which seat will you take? How near will you be able to get your face to the camera? Is there a lot of noise in the room? Turn on your camera so you can frame your face and place your chair. If you’re using a laptop, raise it a few inches so you’re looking straight ahead rather than at an angle. Make sure you’re not backlit by the lights. Clean up the area behind you and turn off all notifications.

Personal Workspace
Personal Workspace


Furthermore, if you’ll be presenting any resources, such as a portfolio or work samples, make sure to submit them ahead of time and have copies on hand. You’ll be able to quickly share your screen if prompted.

  1. Take a look at your appearance, camera, and microphone.

In terms of arriving early and dressing appropriately, follow the same guidelines as you would for a typical interview. They’re interested in knowing if you have a dedicated workstation. Therefore, look at your camera quality, the way you have placed the camera. Similarly, also use a good quality microphone so that you voice sounds clear.

Likewise, even though your interview is from home, make sure you look decent. Moreover, present yourself in a formal dress up and in your best behavior.

  1. Run a test to see if there are any updates available.

Open the app you’ll be using 10 or 15 minutes before the call to ensure it doesn’t need to be updated. Then give it a try to make sure everything looks and sounds right. Do you have adequate distance between you and your Wi-Fi router? What does your microphone sound like? Is there enough light on your face, and how does your outfit seem on camera?

Some video conferencing systems, such as Skype call testing, provide an A/V check that you may do yourself. You can make a call (with no one on the other end) to watch your video and perform a quick check on how everything appears with Zoom.

Ask a friend to conduct a fast demo call if you can’t assess the quality solo. It should only take around a minute. This step is especially important if you’ve never used the software or service you’ll be utilizing for the interview before, and you’ll want to complete it as soon as possible.

  1. Demonstrate that you are a good fit for remote work.

Candidates brag about their previous achievements throughout any job interview. However, if you’re applying for a position where you’ll be working from home, you should highlight any remote work experience you’ve had. You want to indicate that you’ve done it previously and that you’re confident in your abilities to complete it successfully.

You can still offer relevant examples if you don’t have formal experience in a remote role. In a prior career, did you work from home one day a week? Do you have a Ph.D. thesis that you wrote at your kitchen table? Even if you made lesson plans or graded papers at home, teaching or tutoring could be useful. Consider your past experiences and share them with others.

You may want to read about pros and cons of remote work  in the post The pros and cons of working from home.

  1. Mute Yourself in Groups

A lot of video meetings are held by remote workers. Knowing how to conduct virtual meetings etiquette is the same as having good manners. When you’re not talking on a group call, mute yourself. It gives off a good initial impression.

If there’s no unexpected background noise, such as a garbage truck idling outside your window or a puppy barking, don’t mute your mic for one-on-one calls. Explain why you’re intermittently muting in certain scenarios. Otherwise, it may appear strange.

  1. Inquire about remote work-related issues before interview.

Working remotely has its own set of obstacles and considerations, and a serious job applicant will have enough of them.  Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are there any roles or responsibilities that have set hours?
  • How frequently does the team communicate, and is it synchronous or asynchronous in nature?
  • Are there any meetings that are held on a regular basis? To accommodate multiple time zones, do meeting hours change?
  • What are the team’s communication and collaboration tools? • Do employees have a home office equipment budget? Are there any exemptions for co-working space fees during non-COVID times?
  • What is the company’s policy on remote onboarding?
  • Is there normally any travel required, such as for training or team get-togethers (even if it’s on pause during the coronavirus pandemic)?
  • How does the organization decide local holidays for time off if the team is international?
  • How many sick days do employees take on average?
  • What does the company do to maintain staff morale high and foster teamwork?
  • Are there any security measures in place for remote workers?

To find more about the questions that you need to query during the interview are listed in the post Questions You Should Ask the Interviewer.

At the end,

Understanding what distinguishes remote work and how sensitive remote workers are to these factors might help you ace a remote job interview. Of course, you can apply all of the other tips you’ve gathered over the years regarding interviewing for a new job. Be polite and sincere. Prepare by learning about the organization and its mission. Create a list of questions concerning the position’s day-to-day responsibilities and objectives. Make sure you determine whether you want to work for the company and with the team throughout the interview. Finally, make sure that working from home is a good fit for you. When you have complete control over your work environment, not everyone flourishes. However, if it’s a good fit, then welcome to the group.

For more updates, please go through – AESN

Also read: How to excel in an interview

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