Advice on Interviewing and Job Seeking Remotely
We connected with recruiters throughout the Boston and New York tech scene in search of helpful advice for job seekers to help them perfect the art of remote interviewing as well as mastering the post COVID job application process.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Manager, Talent Acquisition at LogMeIn
Download the conferencing or video software prior to your interview and become familiar with its features and functionality. That way, you can focus your attention on the conversation rather than trying to navigate a new product for the very first time. Testing out the technology beforehand also helps you assess your environment and what your interviewer will see on-camera. Is your Wi-Fi working properly? How’s the sound quality? Turn on your webcam to identify any potential distractions in the background and make sure you have proper lighting.
Recruiter at Quick Base
Make sure you are well prepared for the interview! Know who you are interviewing with, and how to access the scheduled call/video!
Talent Acquisition Partner at Tufin
Test out your video surroundings prior to your call! That means making sure you’re in a quiet place (go in a different room than your pets and housemates!), the lighting is acceptable, and your WiFi connection is strong. A little effort here goes a long way!
Technical Talent Acquisition Partner at Buildium
Find a quiet, private and well-lit place where you won’t be interrupted by other people, pets or noises. Position your webcam so that you have a neutral background that’s free from distractions. Avoid coffee shops and other communal spaces. Check that you have a reliable WiFi connection and that your microphone, speakers and camera are working prior to the interview.
Dress for Success
Operations Specialist at Tulip
Act like you are doing an in-person interview. Dress up, show up on time, engage with the interviewer. You should be set up for success!
Director, People Acquisition at EditShare
Treat it like an in-person interview. Dress appropriately (business casual at minimum), do some research on the company and their products/services as well as the person, or people, you will be meeting with.
Director, Talent Acquisition at Mimecast
Stay professional, treat this interview exactly like an in person interview and dress the part. Make eye contact and concentrate on the questions and give full answers. Remember this is the new normal and body language means a lot in this type of virtual interview.
Find the Right Spot and Use Body Language
Senior Director, Talent Acquisition at ZoomInfo
Approach a video interview just like you would an in-person meeting. Be on time and don’t wear a hoodie with the hood up. Be sure to make eye contact, be engaged in the discussion, and attempt to be in a quiet place without interruptions (no one will judge where you’re located). Always research the company ahead of time and be yourself during the conversation.
Talent Acquisition Specialist at DraftKings Inc.
Zoom can be distracting. Your reflection looks back at you, while your surroundings and whereabouts can also cause a wandering eye for both parties. Make sure you are making eye contact with your interviewers in a natural and friendly manner as if you were in-person. It shows your interest level, professionalism, and confidence.
VP of Human Resources at TRUX
Be an effective and active listener. Make lots of eye contact, nod, and find ways in the conversation to connect, this helps put the candidate at ease. Pause and give the interview candidate plenty of time to speak and ask questions.
Recruitment & Talent Manager at JRNI
Always try to look into the camera when talking and have a neutral background. A lot of successful interviews are influenced by body language - remote interviews can make this tricky!
Senior Manager, People & Talent at connectRN
Try your best to interview from a quiet place. While an outdoor deck or coffee shop might be a reprieve from noisy roommates, sounds from street traffic, wind and loud music in the background are much more distracting than a quick interruption from a pet or child.
Other Great Advice
Talent Acquisition Partner at Rapid7
Thank you notes are super important (even after video interviews) - if you didn’t get a chance to grab the interviewers’ email addresses, your recruiter can provide them to you after your interview.
Manager, Talent Acquisition at Wellframe
Keyboard shortcuts are your friend! Scrambling to find the mute button is the last thing you want to be doing when you know you have two seconds before sneezing. If you are using Zoom, pressing 'Alt + A' on Windows or Linux or 'Cmd + Shift + A' on Mac will mute your audio. Pressing the same buttons will unmute you again. If you are using Skype, pressing 'Ctrl + M' on Windows or Linux or 'Cmd + Shift + M' does the same. You can find all the shortcuts for Zoom and Skype below:
Senior Technical Recruiter at CyberArk
As a recruiter, these are a few things that I like when interviewing over the phone or Webex. A friendly, pleasant personality – someone who is easy to talk to. At the end of it, even if you don’t get the job you leave a good impression for the future. Always be polite. Being rude to your recruiter is not going to help you Read the JD fully before applying. Make your resume easy to read. Fancy colors and design are great but if relevant information is not easily readable, you have lost the attention of a recruiter. When answering questions relate it/ connect it to the JD and what they are looking for.
Marketing Manager at O'Reilly Media
Use a microphone instead of the audio out of your computer to cut down on background noise.
Talent Acquisition Partner at Seismic
Minimize distractions! Turn off your cell phone, close tabs and focus on the questions being asked. Stay engaged.
Recruiting Coordinator at edX
It's ok to mention the "elephant in the room", which is the unusual circumstances of video interviewing. It can feel awkward or unnatural but everyone is going through it right now so it's ok to clear the air and make it as comfortable as possible! Don't be afraid to ask for breaks. Interview line ups should have those setup but you should still ask for it if you need it! Keep track of time, this is a big responsibility on the interviewers part but make sure things stay on track so you have enough time to talk to each interviewer. Don't be afraid to ping your recruiter/POC if things are not running on time!