Boost Your Remote & In-person Interview Technique

We know that remote, virtual or video interviews are now de rigour in the recruiting world, but now that everyone’s used to them, how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impact on the hiring manager? How is this different from how you’d aim to stand out in an in-person interview? Through the combined insight of our recruitment consultants across the board, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the new world of in-person and remote interviews and ensure you’re remembered for the right reasons.

Our in-person interview tips:

Do your research

Researching your prospective employer is a must for any interview (in-person or remote)! However, there are many facets to research to create the impression of being an engaged and informed professional, including:

  • Current events within the organisation
  • The industry they work in, their competitors and their market standing
  • The role itself and how it relates to the company as it currently stands, and how the role could contribute to the development of the team or organisation in the future

Prepare your answers for the typical questions

Most interviewers will use some of the commonly-used interview questions like, Where do you see yourself in five years? Talk me through a situation where you encountered a challenge and how you overcame it? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Spending some time practicing these questions or preparing rough answers will make you appear more confident and assured of yourself during the interview. Rough bullet points should help you feel secure in your answers – but you don’t want to appear too rehearsed!

Practice your professional history rundown

Almost every interviewer asks the question, So tell me about yourself? This is a great opportunity for you to present your career so far in an engaged and relevant way. Take some time to look at your CV and think about what areas are most pertinent to the role you’re interviewing for so you can highlight those skills, projects and experiences.

Create a shortlist of questions to ask the interviewer

Having a pre-set list of questions will help avoid that awkward pause at the end of the interview and show you’re interested in the industry, organisation and position.

How to prepare for a virtual interview

Remote interviews will require you to prepare for many, if not all, of the above points, however, there are a couple of additional considerations you should be aware of. How you come across on camera is naturally different to how you come across in person as people form impressions on a variety of social stimuli – which are reduced when you appear as a two-dimensional image on a screen.

Check your remote interview software

The number one rule for ensuring you make a good impression is to ensure there are no hiccups your end when it comes to equipment or software. This could be as simple as doing a test run and checking your microphone, camera and that you’re familiar with the software they’re using. If you’re new to Google Meet or haven’t used Skype for business purposes before, check it out thoroughly before your interview date. This will help you feel more prepared on the day and not add any last-minute stress!

Ensure you’re using a desktop or laptop computer, trying to interview remotely on your phone will make it awkward for you to position yourself right and could impact the impression the interviewer has of your professionalism. If you have no alternative, try to set up your phone so it is supported upright without using your hands so you can look more natural and even take notes if necessary.

Dress smartly (even if just from the waist up!)

When an interviewer has fewer social queues with which to form an impression of you, what you wear matters! Harvard Business Review recorded that hiring managers felt that business attire made a candidate appear more authentic and informed about the situation, and bright colours gave an impression of innovative creativity! So it’s not just about dressing for the job you want, it’s also about presenting yourself and your best qualities in the best light!

Think about your background

Interestingly, the same HBR investigation found that interviewers respond better to your actual surroundings rather than a virtual interview background or blurred out surroundings. Try to position yourself so you’re not just against a blank wall background, but show a bit of your working space that’s interesting and implies thoughtfulness and calm. 44% of their survey respondents preferred to see a wall with books or bookshelves behind the speaker, while 34% preferred framed décor such as art, or photographs.

Use the remote technology to your advantage!

One of the perks of being on using conferencing software during an interview is that you can share your screen and walk through your high-level supporting documents such as:

  • Portfolios
  • Reviews
  • Previous projects, strategies or reports

How can Barclay Simpson help?

If you’re looking to find a new role in internal or IT audit, financial services, law, risk, compliance or cyber security then check out our jobs page which has some of the most exciting opportunities available. Once you submit an application one of our consultants will be in touch, from there they can help guide you through the interview process and ensure you’re a memorable candidate!