Tips for Remote Interviews

Recently we’ve been working with an increasing number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) clients and we’re noticing the importance for IT professionals to be able to successfully interview on the telephone or via video conference.

In particular for the initial roles with new companies opening in Northern Ireland, telephone screening interviews are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a cost effective solution of managing a high number of applications. They also allow you, the applicant to speak with a number of members of your new team so you get a better feel of who you will be working with.

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a few pointers to help those attending phone/video-conferencing interviews.

Make sure you have a suitable location for your interview. If the interivew is during your normal working day make sure there is somewhere quiet where you can slip out of your office to take the call. Ask your recruiter for use of a meeting room in their office if this makes things easier for you. If you are taking it at home make sure your housemates, kids or pets (yes, it’s happened before!) know not to interrupt you.
If using your mobile make sure your phone is fully charged and that you have a good signal. Having a poor quality line or having a low battery will not give the best impression to your potential employer and will most likely leave you feeling anxious.
If the interview is a video-conference make sure you have a computer capable of running the necessary technologies. We’re seeing more companies use technologies such as Skype and Google Hangouts for this.
Prior to the interview, try to find out the names of those who will be on your interview panel and take a look at their experience on LinkedIn to get a feel for what their areas of expertise are.

One of the benefits of telephone interviews is that you can keep your CV in front of you. This means you can highlight in advance areas of your CV that you think are particularly relevant that you want to make sure the interview panel know you are capable of.
You can also keep a list of any other relevant skills or experience that you want to delve into in more detail. Keep any lists concise – you don’t want these to become a wordy distraction.

Telephone Voice:
It’s important to be yourself but it’s also important to ensure that you come across well – ensure you speak clearly and it’s probably best to try to omit some of our Northern Irish colloquialisms, so it is! It’s also important to be able to keep the attention of the interviewers – don’t drag out your answers excessively. This is particularly relevant for Many of us have first hand experience of sitting on conference calls where someone waffles on for too long and loses the attention of the group. Don’t be that person!

Get Feedback:
When there are multiple interviewers on the other end it can sometimes be difficult to know who is asking which questions. At the end of your answers check back with the interview panel to make sure they have found out the information they were looking for in the first place and they are satisified with your answer.

Ask Questions:
As the interviewers most likely have not met you in person yet it’s important to make yourself stand out. Do your homework before hand and ask questions to make you stand out from the crowd e.g. ask about the technologies they use and how they use them or ask for more specific details on the role e.g. if you joined the company tomorrow what would you be doing? If they do give you more information on the role – add in any other relevant experience you have or express your enthusiasm in getting exposure to these technologies and gaining new responsibilities.

Hopefully you find these tips useful and if you’re interested in finding out about the latest companies opening in Northern Ireland – get in touch!