How to prepare for a remote job interview?


Stefan Kanev

21 January 2021


We have already discussed what questions to ask when interviewing remote job candidates. But what if you are on the receiving end? In the present reality, dictated to us by COVID-19, the number of companies hiring remote workers is on the rise as Forbes wrote. So, if you want to be a part of the remotely working community, now is your time.

Let’s have a short thought experiment. Imagine that you are a PHP developer. And you found a job, which doesn’t even require you to leave your home. You get invited to the interview. And you need to ace it, the same way you ace your code. The present blog post will help you to nail it with 5 tips on how to prepare for the upcoming interview.

Prepare your place

Take a critical look around. What would look weird to an outsider? Your posters are probably cute and all but they may not be presenting you in a good way during the job interview. Also, when did you last dusted your place? We advise you to take away most of the personal belongings and all the clutter. However, do it with caution. If your job interview is happening from home, make it look like a home, not a sterile inhabiting chamber. If you can’t achieve this, think about other alternatives, e.g. coworking spaces, libraries, etc. as long as you can have peace and quiet. And speaking about that…

Ensure the distraction levels are down

Furthermore, if you have kids, you better send them off to their grandparents, to the park, or just somehow get rid of them for the period of the interview. While some recruiters may smile to children breaking into the room, others may find it unprofessional. Also, dogs. We, at Remotemore, like cats, or at least our blogging team does. No, our cats will not continuously bark at the sparrows on the windowsill while we are on a phone call or in an online meeting. Yes, the cats will probably devastate the sad remains of any upholstery in the bedroom. However, they will do it silently. Here we won’t even discuss the parrots and their likes. So, if you have any noise emitting pet, leave it with friends or family. Or get a cat, just like Dragica did.

Prepare yourself

What if we told you, that the online interview is just like the usual one, but online?

A shocker, isn’t it?

Then, you should act and look like you are participating in a physical interview. Get a fresh haircut. Dress up maybe one level above the requirement for your type of job. You want to stand out from the crowd in a professional way. It also depends on the job description, the person who is interviewing you, and the company culture. Read the job description carefully for hints. You will also likely know the name and the position of the interviewer. Stalk them on LinkedIn. See what they share and why. You can also get a general feeling about the company’s culture and values from their website.

So, take for example our website. You can see that we are young, ambitious, and probably not very fond of formal exchanges. So, wearing a simple t-shirt while being interviewed at RemoteMore will be fully sufficient.

However, if you are going to talk to the very serious guys, like our investors from Axel Springer, would prefer to have a suit and a more traditional haircut.

Also, if you are planning on going pantless, it is important that your camera is positioned correctly.

Make sure your software and hardware work properly

To reconnect, press 1.
To fail your job interview, press 2.
To avoid the previous options, continue reading.

Nowadays the means for remote communication are flourishing. Long gone are the days when all online conversations were conducted via Skype. Your contact at the company for which you applied will most likely set the parameters for the meeting software. So, if they prefer meeting in ZOOM and you still don’t have the software, get it. Review the software and make sure you know how to join the meeting. If your rooter is from the stone age and has its own opinion about when you have internet and when you don’t, unplug it and physically connect to the internet. It is also good to have a backup, like using the hotspot of your smartphone in force major circumstances.

Test your camera and microphone. The best way to do it is to call a friend. Offering a poor technical quality conversation to your peers is unprofessional and you should take all precautions to avoid it.

The times they are a-changin’

You live in the Philippines and your dream job is located in Sweden. This is totally OK. However, there are 8 hours of time difference between you and your interviewer. When scheduling an interview, make sure to double-check the calendar invitation and time zone listed on the invite.

Make a note and put it on the fridge. Don’t forget that 1pm at your place isn’t necessarily 1pm in other countries. Calling someone in the middle of the night by mistake can ensure you losing the mere opportunity for an opportunity. A good practice is to double-check the date and time to avoid mistakes.

In conclusion

We hope that our advice helped you prepare for landing the dream job. And if you are still looking for it, why haven’t you registered with us? We connect world-class remote developers with awesome companies. You can read some of their success stories on our website.