When you talk to your parents on Skype, do you shove all your stuff to one side of the room and hope they don’t see the pile of crap that is juggling on one leg in the corner? Or do you keep your room perfectly organized, hiding all distractions? With so many people being ridiculously busy these days, people just don’t have the time to speak over the phone or even face to face. Unless you meet before or after work, having an interview can cause endless amount of problems. It’s the same when you’re being interviewed remotely. If you have applied for a role too far away or internationally, a home interview or remote interview might be of suggestion by a recruiter or an employer.
You might think that being at home or at your local Starbucks, the interview will mean a more relaxed environment but most of the time that’s far from the case. The key to success is being as diligent as you would be in person. So how do you ace the interview? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be onto a winner.
If you’re in your room, the last thing you want an employer or recruiter to see is all your bits and bobs sitting all round the place. Hiding all your distractions makes your environment an easier place to work in, communicate with specialists in and you feel a lot less nervous. Keep email, magazines, pictures of ex partners, fluffy animals and other alluring visuals out of your line of sight. The last thing you want during an important question, would be an email from your mother telling you she’s down this weekend. Stay focused and keep distractions at bay. It doesn’t make for a good impression and helps with your nerves. Keep in mind, silence helps keep your mind from wandering too.
The worst thing anyone can be, is not them. You are you, keep it that way. A warm voice and a sense of humour can go a long way toward establishing a friendly rapport with interviewers. If you’re aware you talk at a fast pace, pay attention to your voice inflection. Think of your facial expressions, the tone in your voice plays a huge part it what you’re saying. You don’t want to come across unenthusiastic or hyperactive. Keep in mind your interview is a chance to show an employer how you can do a job and fit into their culture and environment, don’t speak to them like you would with your mates down at your local on a Friday night.
In a face to face interview, requesting feedback straight away is difficult and makes you look a bit like an arrogant ass, but in a phone interview, you can’t read a recruiter/employers body language to know if you’re on the right track. When in doubt, it’s ok to ask “Is there any area you want me to go deeper in?” says Cindy Nicola, vice president of talent acquisition at Electronic Arts Inc., a videogame publisher in Redwood City, Calif.
Explain how you’d relocate
If the role you’re applying for is in another city or country and you’re already very settled in your current location, demonstrate to the recruiter/employer how you can make it happen on your own. If you already own the property you live in, you won’t be able to just pack up and leave tomorrow, demonstrate how this job opportunity would mean you’re on the phone to your estate agents, you’re in process of selling or have thought about renting. Employers don’t have the time to help new recruits sell their properties or get out of leases, but they may suggest properties in the areas they are located in. Think a step ahead rather than two steps back.
Be honest and ask about pay
You’re currently on a good/average/great salary and this is always a topic of conversation recruiters will ask you when they speak to you about your job specifications. If interviewers insist on knowing your minimum salary requirements, give an honest answer rather than beating around the bush. Don’t undersell yourself but consider being flexible. If the salary amount you want is out of an employers pay range, consider wiggle room and keep an open mind.
Questions, Questions, Questions
You can’t go to an interview, say your bit then leave. Asking questions gets you places. When the interviewer is done talking ask smart questions. Questions that will get you an answer, not ones that get you a strange look. Before any interview, you would have done plenty of research in time for it, from your research you can build a few questions to ask the interviewer about the company, about the interviewer as an individual, the structure, the team, environment, culture, anything that gives you a good shot at the role.
Always say thanks
Before logging off or ending the call, ask the interviewer for their details so you can drop them a thank you email that also reiterates your interest in the job. “Do just as you would after a face-to-face interview,” says Paul Newman, assistant vice president, human resources, at OppenheimerFunds, an asset-management firm in New York. “It goes a long a way.”