There have been major changes in the workplace during the last year, resulting in similar shifts for internships. Many companies operating remotely have adopted hiring processes that include remote interviewing and onboarding. This includes interns. With traditional, on-site interviews currently not the norm, now is a good time to refresh your interviewing skills.
How do you get ready for a remote interview? Keep these three words in mind: prepare, prepare, prepare!
1. Know What You’re Going to Say
- Prepare answers to commonly asked interview questions. Write out your answers. Be specific. Practice your answers aloud in front of a mirror or with a partner. Preparing for an interview is one of the many valuable career-readiness modules InternWorks provides.
- Research the company or organization. Review the website and other online resources (such as press releases or news articles) for information. Take notes about anything you think is important or interesting.
- Prepare a few questions to ask at the interview. You might ask: What are some tasks or responsibilities I can expect? What are some expectations set for me as an intern? Avoid: What time is lunch? Can I work from the beach?
- Have your resume printed in front of you for reference. You can also have a few notes available so you don’t forget anything.
2. Check Your Technology
- Become familiar with the video platform that will be used. Is it Zoom? Teams? GoToMeeting? Don’t wait for the interview day to install or learn a new program.
- Test your video and audio. Be sure you have a good internet connection and your camera and microphone are working properly.
- Technology can fail! Have a backup plan! In the event you lose your internet connection (or electricity), have your phone or other device ready to go if needed.
3. Optimize Your Visual Impression
- Find a quiet place where you can hear and be heard without background noise.
- Look at yourself on screen. Use optimal lighting and avoid awkward angles–your face should be centered and close enough to be seen clearly.
- Check behind you. Remove distracting or personal items from the background. Hang a curtain or shade behind you if necessary. Do not use a virtual background.
- Preferably use a desktop or laptop computer. If you use a tablet or phone, use a stand to keep the device still.
- Dress appropriately (as though you will be seen from head to toe). Review professional attire. Avoid busy patterns on camera. Do not wear the same color as your background.
4. Mind Your Interview Manners
- Your phone should be in silent mode and out of sight.
- Greet your interviewer with enthusiasm. Smile and use the interviewer’s name. “It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Williams. Thank you so much for meeting with me.”
- Be present and engaged. Sit up straight. Don’t do other things (e.g. text or check your email) during the interview, even if they are off camera.
- Wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before you respond. Wait for a long pause and/or allow a few seconds to account for a potential audio delay.
- After the interview, send a thank-you email within 24 hours.
5. Be Yourself!
With so much to think about and do during an interview, how do you let your personality shine through? The key is preparation (and lots of practice). With the hard stuff out of the way, you will have an easier time being yourself and making a connection. You might even enjoy yourself!