Follow these guidelines to make a good impression.
By Mary E. Fortier, EdD, RN, CNL
In many ways, remote video interviews, using programs like Skype, are no different than interviewing in person. You want to be prepared, present yourself professionally, and follow up appropriately. However, when interviewing remotely, the first 5 to 10 minutes may be the most influential for the recruiter or search committee conducting the interview. To help ensure you project your best self, remember the acronym ACE—Anticipate, Clear, confident communications, and Evaluation.
In anticipation of the remote interview, take steps to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared.
- What are the company’s mission and goals? How will your values align with your potential employer’s, and how will your abilities assist in achieving those goals?
- What does the position require? Know the job description and be prepared to match your knowledge and qualifications to those requirements.
Appearance and environment
- Dress as you would for an in-person interview, but wear solid, neutral colors that won’t be distracting. A spot of color (for example a colored blouse under a solid suit or a colored tie) is fine, but avoid geometric patterns and bright colors.
- Don’t accessorize with large earrings or bold ties, and remove facial piercings. The focus is you and your talents, not what you’re wearing.
- Create a warm, uncluttered, and quiet background for your interview.
- Silence your cell phone; turn it off if possible.
- If you’re interviewing from home, choose a room with a door you can close to reduce noise. Tell all members of the household when you’re interviewing and that you can’t be interrupted.
Practice and preparation
- Have a copy of your résumé, your research notes, and a notepad handy.
- Ensure that your internet connection is reliable.
- Practice for your interview.
Clear, confident communications
All job interviews, whether they’re in person or remote, are about clear, confident verbal and nonverbal communication, which includes your posture, attire, and listening skills.
- Sit comfortably and wear professional attire.
- Make sure your surroundings reflect a professional environment, not a college dorm room.
- Look at the webcam so that it appears you’re looking into the interviewer’s eyes.
- Speak slowly, clearly, and with purpose.
- Listen actively and don’t interrupt the interviewer. If necessary, jot down your thoughts on a notepad until it’s your turn to speak.
- Use nonverbal active listening cues, such as smiling and nodding to convey you’re engaged in what the interviewer is saying.
- Be prepared with a list of questions, along with your qualifications and examples of your work and professional experience specific to the position.
Do a practice video interview with a friend or colleague and record it. When you review the recording, answer these two questions honestly:
- How will the recruiter or search committee perceive me? Critique your appearance, surroundings, eye contact, voice level, and listening skills.
- Is this the image I want to project? You want to appear professional, engaged, and confident.
After the interview, write a short email to the recruiter or the search committee, thanking them for their time. Include some of the topics addressed during your interview, the ways in which you would be an asset to the organization, and that you look forward to being a productive member of their team. With preparation, good communication skills, and honest evaluation of your interview performance, you’ll ACE that remote interview!
Mary E. Fortier is an associate professor in the department of nursing at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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