As businesses find ways to beat the lockdown, the remote interview is increasingly becoming the norm for recruitment. For several years, remote interviews have been in play, particularly in the IT field. It was largely used in the early stages of the recruiting process. But it is being used today for end-to-end recruitment, as organizations have recognized its usefulness. It is expected to continue its growth in the future as well.
As a matter of fact, job seekers around the world are showing more interest in working from home because of the COVID-19 situation. Increasingly, job seekers are looking for words like ‘remote’,’ work from home’ and similar phrases. As per the records of Indeed India, searches for remote work increased by more than 442 % between February 2020 and July 2020.
The growing importance of remote interviews
Most of the leading companies in the world like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, encouraging employees to work from home. Amazon canceled most in-person interviews and set up virtual interview platforms for applicants. This platform helps to communicate with recruiters, complete the requisite documentation, and engage in interviews.
Google has advised its applicants that interviews should be conducted at Google Hangouts or using the BlueJeans video conferencing service.
A recent Career Net Consulting recruiting outlook study said 3 out of 4 companies assume they can go for remote interviews to recruit workers.
The study found that companies from e-commerce, IT-ITeS, science & technology, and telecommunications sectors show a higher readiness for virtual hiring.
In-person interview vs. Remote interview
While employers ask workers to work from home to maintain social distancing norms, remote interviews are taking the place of in-person interviews.
The challenges of remote interviews, however, include call quality, bandwidth, system quality, lighting, ambient noise, and disturbances from the background. On the other side, the overall evaluation of the candidate’s stature and personality is certainly missing in the case of a remote interview.
Increasingly face-to-face interviews are becoming more and more obsolete, regardless of the many benefits, they offer. In the current situation, remote interviews appear to be the latest human resources norm. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these forms of interviews both in-person and remote, and it would be unreasonable to think that one is better than the other.
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What do interviewers look for in a remote interview?
Each organization follows a different process while interviewing an applicant for a remote position. However, these are the most common characteristics recruiters and hiring managers would be looking for:
It will be important to establish trust with your prospective employers by showing them that they can rely on you, and that begins during the interview process. A perfect way to start building your reputation is to turn up on time for the interview. If you have a practical example of how incredibly dependable you are, it would be immensely helpful.
Since almost all communication is done through Zoom, Slack, and email, it is even more important how well a person can communicate through such media. Fortunately, the remote interview process is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in virtual communication.
When operating remotely, you have to be comfortable operating independently and seeking answers on your own. It will be extremely important to consider when to reach out for support from your colleagues and when to try to find things out for yourself. So you must be prepared to present your resourcefulness and self-employed style during your remote interview.
In the case of remote work, managers may not peer over your desk to see whether you are lost or idle. So, it becomes considerably more critical that if you require assistance, you ask questions proactively. Throughout the interview process, asking questions, following up after every call with a thank you message and planning for every interview in advance are all perfect ways to show a positive nature.
You might have also noticed that all of these are soft skills, which means they’re not as easy to calculate. And while discussions about the technological abilities will emerge during your interview, the greater focus probably might be on your less tangible characteristics during the remote interview.
Common questions asked during a virtual interview
1. How will you stay motivated without any in-person supervisor?
Work from home suggests that employers or managers will not work in the same physical location. On the other hand, this means less unproductive micromanaging opportunities. But the trick to this interview question is to express your intent for self-motivation. As long as you’re sharing strategies to remain on track without an in-person supervisor, there’s no wrong answer.
2. How are you going to schedule your daily work?
You will undoubtedly face a continuous stream of emails, text, messages, and video conferences, as a remote worker, all competing for your attention. A constant part of remote work is being able to store, prioritize, and address this issue.
Interviewers may want to know that you are aware of this and that if you land the position, you have a strategy for scheduling and prioritization. Describe the app, calendar method, or scheduling document that works best for you and how you want to use it at work.
3. What will you do if you can’t reach out to your coworkers?
Many individuals work on the same shift in a traditional workplace. If an issue comes up that needs assistance from an experienced coworker, you step over and ask them. While working remotely, there might be some situations that you can’t manage alone, but your team won’t be instantly available. The best way to address this question is to demonstrate that you are calm and composed when it comes to tackling unexpected problems and then to discuss how to resolve it.
4. Do you prefer to work remotely?
While it might not seem 100% important to the job itself, the ability to articulate why are you appealed by a remote position should help employers understand how you could integrate into their team. It also demonstrates that you have given enough consideration and also thought out how to overcome unique remote work challenges.
5. Are you comfortable working remotely for our company?
Make sure you’ve done your market research to address this question, so you can explain what’s attractive to you about this specific job and the employer. Typically, you will find out a lot about the work philosophy of the organization from its career page.
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6. Do you have any previous experience of remote working?
For employers recruiting for a remote job, an established track record of effective remote work often looks fantastic, so if you have previous experience, simply explain it.
But don’t worry if you don’t have explicit knowledge of remote work! Think of any work experiences you had away from the workplace where you completed assignments, had to build your own schedule, work without direct supervision, or did any freelance work. Whatever your previous job or life situation is, you probably have something that you can sell to contribute to good remote work.
7. According to you, what does your ideal home office look like?
The employer would like to ask this question to understand whether you have considered creating a dedicated workplace. Here, you just need to specify your plan, availability of reliable equipment, and a secure high-speed internet link. But the workplace can range from a completely dedicated home office to a coworking space.
8. What type of work schedule do you prefer?
Different people have different expectations when it comes to remote work. Since these requirements are different, be clear about the kind of schedule which works for you as well as the kind of schedule which the employer provides from the beginning.
9. How are you planning to coordinate with your co-workers?
Remote work means that team members and other stakeholders are not always immediately available. Before applying for remote work, make sure to spend time using such industry-standard remote communication software as G Suite, Google Hangouts, and Zoom-type video conference applications. Explain your plan of action to the interviewer with a well thought out reply after conducting due research.
10. What is your preferred style of communication?
Generally speaking, for remote positions, a constructive communication style functions best. It is important to create structured check-ins so that the rest of your team knows what you are doing. Explain how you could build this kind of structure when answering this query.
Last but not the least; treat remote interviews as critical as in-person interviews with the same intensity. Know the job description, the profile of the company, and the questions that may be asked. For interviews, choose a private, well-lit space. Make sure to be available for the interview on time.
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