What to Expect in a Remote Interview

Here’s what to expect in a remote interview so you know how to impress potential employers through the phone or over a videoconference.

Ginger Abbot

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You’re dreaming about moving into a remote position, but what would that look like? You might apply to companies based across the country or in another state. If that happens, they’ll likely prefer a virtual interview and make their hiring decision without ever seeing you in person. Here’s what to expect in a remote interview so you know how to impress potential employers through the phone or over a videoconference.

1. Prepare for Competition

Applying to a traditional job limits your competition. You would most likely only have to interview against a few candidates from your hometown. Depending on where you live, that could remove a significant amount of applicants and make it easier to land your dream job. Remote positions often accept applications from candidates worldwide, which means there’s much more competition than many people realize.

A recent survey found that 58% of people want remote work because it allows more flexibility. If you’re going to get a virtual job, make sure to update your resume. It should demonstrate how you meet all the job’s requirements with one-page, scannable content.

2. Give the Recruiters Time

You might be able to apply to numerous job postings every day, but recruiters can’t move that fast. They’re sorting through applications and juggling potential candidates before deciding who they should get to know more. Many recruiting teams require two to three weeks to review new applications and schedule meetings. Don’t expect your remote interview to appear on your calendar overnight or to get a second one scheduled right away.

3. Dress Like You’re There

When you answer a video call, the recruiter on the other end will get an idea of your character based on how you look. First impressions happen in person, but they also occur virtually. You wouldn’t show up to a corporate office in sweatpants and a tank top, so dress for your virtual interview with the same respect. 

Don’t forget to dress your interview space, either. There shouldn’t be any piles of laundry or dirty dishes behind you that will appear on camera. It’s one of the remote interview tips people often overlook. Clean up your space to demonstrate how you take virtual work seriously.

4. Record Your Questions

Candidates should always bring relevant questions to any kind of interview. Prepare a list of questions relevant to the job posting or previous communications with the recruiter. Inquiring about the specific responsibilities or requirements shows your interest and the depth of your knowledge related to that position. When you’re wondering what to expect in a remote interview, you should look forward to the opportunity to learn more about the work at hand.

5. Give Them Your Full Attention

You wouldn’t do dishes during an in-person interview, so don’t do them while you’re on the phone with a recruiter. They’re giving you their full attention, so it’s only fair to provide them the same courtesy. Choose a quiet spot to talk where there won’t be interruptions or temptations to multitask. Avoid things like notification noises from your phone or alarms that might go off on your watch.

6. Expect Technical Glitches

If you expect technical problems to happen, check for them before your interview and proactively prevent them. Double-check your Wi-Fi speed and update any required videoconferencing programs. Test your headphones so you know the built-in microphone works. Giving yourself time to avoid tech issues will provide you with more peace of mind as your interview approaches.

Use Helpful Remote Interview Tips

Now that you know what to expect in a remote interview, you can feel confident that everything will go smoothly. Prepare your space, think about any questions you might have and dress appropriately to land your dream job and start working from home.


About the Author

Ginger Abbot is a career and education writer who loves helping people follow their passions. Read more of her work on her educational website, Classrooms.