A woman in a suit in front of a laptop doing a virtual interview


Tips for successful remote interviews

 

We have seen many candidates successfully interview and join law firms remotely over the last 18 months. Remote interviewing might feel more challenging and make you feel out of your comfort zone. Following these handy ‘hints and tips’ will help:

 

Choose your technology

 

There are so many different platforms you can use to interview remotely. Some of the most popular include: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp. Make sure everyone involved has the necessary software and they are clear as to which one is being used. Many of these platforms are free to use, although be aware of a time limit on some for free users - you don’t want the call ending abruptly mid-interview.

 

Make sure you have the right space for your interview

 

This might not be something you initially think about - the background behind you, shown in your webcam. You need your interview space to be clean and tidy and free of anything distracting or confidential. The room needs to be well-lit, but not so bright that you are difficult to be seen or cause any distraction. Make sure all pets and children are in other rooms as you want the focus to be solely on you!

 

Test your technology

 

Avoid the panic of the technology not working by doing a test run before your interview. The last thing you want is for the audio or camera to not work. Make sure you have a contact number either for your recruitment consultant or the interviewer in case technology falters.

 

You do not want your first impression to the interviewer and possible employer to be that you are late to the interview of technical issues.

 

Do a test run with a friend and cover the following:

 

  • Check your signal strength. Is it adequate in the room you are intending to conduct the interview in?
  • Do the camera and microphone both work? Can you be seen and heard clearly?
  • Make sure the backdrop for your video is clear, tidy and not too busy that it distracts from the interview.
  • If you plan on sharing your screen, experiment beforehand so that you can use it efficiently during the interview.

Lastly, it is really important that your online personal profile is up to date as no doubt the interviewer will look at your digital footprint before the interview.

 

Interview etiquette

 

Treat a video interview exactly the same way as you would a face-to face meeting. Dress appropriately, and don’t just dress the top half of yourself! If you do need to stand up and you are seen wearing pyjama bottoms, this will not make a good impression!

 

Make sure you are fully prepared and ready at least 10 minutes before the interview. You want to ensure everything is in place, including the equipment, your CV, any notes or questions, and a pen and paper. Having a printed copy of your CV next to you, rather than on the screen, is best and if necessary, you can make the interviewer aware that you will be referring to it.

 

On occasion, there might be a need to take notes. I would always just be open and make sure the interviewer knows that is what you are doing, as it could look like you are distracted if they did not realise.

 

You want to be fully engaged throughout the interview so make sure your phone and any notifications that might pop up on any device you’re using are turned off. If you need to keep your phone on, just make sure you have clicked ‘do not disturb’ in your settings. 

 

Using your body language during the interview

 

Body language is still effective to show your interest in the role when interviewing remotely. It is important you maintain eye contact throughout the duration of the interview as you would do face-to-face. This will show you are focused and confident. Looking directly into the camera when you are speaking rather than at your screen can help.

 

The online environment can feel strange at first, but the principles of the interview are exactly the same remotely as in real life. So, always keep that in mind and use your body language in a positive way to portray interest in the position you have applied for.

 

Prepare and rehearse key questions and market yourself

 

Preparation is key. Make sure you have researched the firm and know the full detail of the position you are applying for. Even if there isn’t a formal job specification, your recruitment consultant should give you details of the job. As with any interview, you will stand out and make a good impression if you have taken the time to do your research.

 

This interview is your time to really show why you should be hired for this position. Make sure you showcase your skills and answer all questions clearly and in detail, giving specific examples and explaining what you learned from previous experiences.

 

Concluding the interview & post-interview steps

 

Thank the interviewer for their time before you leave the remote meeting. Then once the interview is finished, make sure you contact your recruitment consultant so that they can give your feedback to the interviewer. You can highlight anything that you forgot to say or any further information you wish to be passed on and, most importantly, you can update them with your honest thoughts about the role and how interested you are or what concerns you might have.

Well done if you have successfully completed a remote interview! We are still in uncertain times and it may feel more challenging getting a job interviewing remotely. Remember, interviewing in this way shows your potential employer how adaptable and resilient you can be.

 

For more information on interview techniques or the legal market, please contact Helen Veitch at Chadwick Nott.

 

Email: helenveitch@chadwicknott.co.uk

DDI: 0161 507 7267

Mobile: 0744 305 6776