Stages of a Remote Job Interview Process

March 21, 2022 Amy Williams
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With the new norm of working remotely comes learning how the hiring process or remote jobs interviews work and what they entail. Most of the remote interview processes are conducted online via telecommunications platforms. Employers are in recent times a lot more into hiring via the web as it ensures safety with their health concerns, and it is also cost-efficient. Some companies operate entirely remotely, and with these companies, it is usually challenging to hire people as the bulk of the work mostly comes in during the remote interview process. With other firms that have an in-office space, hiring for a remote position might not be as stressful, but it involves a lot of work as the interview is a delicate process; a company has to hire an employee who can self-motivate, which is often the hardest to prove. These days, candidates are trying hard to prove themselves to prospective employers as the remote employment hunt increases. Still, it might be challenging and technical to prove yourself on a web call.

These developments result from the pandemic which in it’s own way changed perspectives, including work mode, shifting focus to remote working, and drastically changing how interviews are conducted.

Remote jobs Interviews are hardly ever conducted in person; with recent developments, these interviews are conducted by the Human Resources team of hiring companies on platforms such as:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Google meet
  • Google hangout
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Cisco WebEx, etc.

Stages of a Remote Interview Process

If you are hiring workers via remote interview, there are several stages, unlike the steps for a physical in-office job interview. Let’s look closer to them.

Job Listing

This is the first step in a remote hiring process, listing the job and correctly stating what exactly the job entails. Most times, candidates see a job vacancy and do not read correctly to understand precisely what the job involves; some candidates skip straight to the apply button. It might be risky not to read the details of a job one is applying for, as one’s understanding of a job position can be helpful at the time of an interview. Applying for a job is the first step towards conducting an interview; understanding should not be underrated in this first step. Understanding the candidate’s role in the company and understanding the tone with which the job vacancy was set.

Filing Application Questions

When a company is set to hire for a remote position, the hiring team usually does not pay any attention to resumés as it might be too much work. These companies often judge the competency of candidates by asking these candidates to fill out application questions.

These application questions are carefully drafted out. According to the candidates’ answers, the company knows which one to hire as the questions are to be the yardstick for measuring the competency of candidates who apply. These questions vary, depending on the company hiring, it could be simple questions such as:

  • What is your work experience?
  • What is your city or country of residence?
  • A link to your portfolio or previous works (especially for companies hiring for a creative position).
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • What value would you bring to our firm or to whatever team of people you find yourself working with?

These questions are usually, so the company has a view of what the candidate is like. With the new WFH system comes improvements in hiring processes. Companies do not judge based on resumés like they usually would. This doesn’t mean hiring teams of companies do not check out candidates’ resumés; it simply means application questions are the new and improvised means of checking out prospective employees’ data and picking out the best candidates.

Follow-up Questions

After filling up the employee application questions, two things happen after this in a remote interview process it’s either a candidate forges ahead to the next step or is sent a mail wishing them well in future endeavors. A follow-up question is sent to the candidates who move to the next step.

Working remotely is a delicate decision. Keeping tabs on employees is not as easy as in an in-office setting. This means a company would have to ask prospective employees questions regarding remote working. These questions are known as follow-up questions.

Some follow up questions include:

  • What was your former job like?
  • What kind of projects did you work on at your former job?
  • What are your hobbies, and why would you make a great culture fit for this organization?
  • Have you ever been self-employed?
  • Have you ever worked from home or shared office space?
  • How well do you work in a team? Are you a team player?
  • What conflicts in your previous workplace have you successfully solved?

Some candidates tend to mistake the follow-up session with the actual interview. The interviewer asks the questions further to understand the candidate in preparation for the actual interview.

Stages of a Remote Job Interview Process

Video Chat

If all of the previous steps work out fine, the next step in the remote interview process would most likely be a video chat using either Zoom or Google hangouts/meet or any of the other video communications platforms that have been listed above. Before the actual video chat, both the company’s Human Resources team and the candidate would have to figure out a perfect time for a call as both could be at different time zones and have to have agreed on a time which would be perfect for the interviewer and candidate. This is one crucial aspect of the remote interview process.

The video chat is the interview itself; candidates are expected to look smart on the video and sound professional. The goal of the video chat is to impress the prospective employer or the Human Resources team of interviewers; it would therefore put a candidate at a disadvantage if the candidate were to be unprofessional on the video chat.

It is in the best interest of the candidate if all distractions are taken care of, the candidate has to

Appear in a professional light as professionalism gets a candidate the job.

The video chat might be for about five to ten minutes tops; it gives the company some time to get to know the candidate they are about to hire and communicate.

Test Projects

Test projects are part of the hiring process of most companies. When a company is hiring a new employee, the Human Resources team gives candidates test projects as a part of the remote interview process. This is because it is not enough that a candidate says they can do whatever is required of them in the position up for hire; it is also not enough to state all of the skills that a candidate might have; it is more important than a candidate’s skill is put to the test.

The company has to see the result of putting whomever they want to hire to test, getting to know exactly how well or how poorly a candidate may do on specific projects.

These projects are also about figuring out how a candidate would work with deadlines and a deadline for a project. It is like a competency test and is usually the last hiring process for a remote competition. By the end of this step, the company would have decided on the best candidate based on the delivery of the test project.

Tips for Preparing your Remote Interview

  1. Prepare before the interview. It is essential that before the interview, a candidate prepares appropriately for the hiring process for the position they want to employ. Make your findings correctly and read up if you have to. Make findings of the company and prepare for the interview in advance.
  2. Choosing an excellent spot. Picking an ideal location for your video interview process is one of the most important things to prepare for your remote position interview. This is because any little distraction might stand a stumbling block to the success of all the planning and efforts geared towards making the best efforts. Candidates have to realize that a simple mistake in picking a distraction-free interview spot can thwart all of the excellent work put into getting hired. People who have kids might need to make provisions for the care of their kids during the time of the interview.
  3. Set up a home office. A person who wants to switch from an in-office job to a remote job has to understand the importance of a home office in this process. Without a home office, chances are an employee will be at fault with meeting up with deadlines. With remote work, deadlines are everything. Even before a candidate gets the remote job, a home office should be necessary to help meet the deadlines for whatever test projects the prospective employer gives.
  4. Look at your office space objectively. After creating your home office, it is vital to look around objectively for anything that might upset a prospective employer, be sure to have a neutral background for your video interview, and if hired, future team video chats. In a world where people have different views on certain things, especially regarding sensitive issues, a candidate should make sure there is nothing in the video background which could be in any way offensive to the prospective employer or the team that interviews you.
  5. Make sure to use a quality webcam and sound. An excellent remote interview can be made terrible by poor video quality and sound, a candidate should therefore make efforts to ensure that the sound and video are of excellent quality so that it is an advantage or at least doesn’t stand as a hindrance to the candidate. Ensure the quality of your equipment before using them; this can be done by testing your equipment. A bad webcam and sound show the prospective employer that a candidate is not on top of their game, which is horrible.
  6. Make sure your lightning is great.

Poor lightning can affect your performance in an interview. Imagine going ten minutes in an interview without your interviewer seeing your face; it could be bad for your results. It is essential that a candidate has good lighting to communicate with the interviewer more efficiently.

  1. Be ready. A candidate should be highly prepared for a remote interview process, make sure you are on sit at least ten minutes before time. It would be best if you looked into the eyes of your interviewer or the team of interviews when the interview starts; it might be tempting to want to look at everything around you and not the screen, so pay conscious attention to the screen and what is happening.
  2. Master the use of the interview platform. A candidate’s platform for the interview should be mastered; it helps the candidate get the hang of whatever the platform is like and all of the details of whatever application it might be. Suppose the company decides to use the Zoom application for the interview. In that case, you might need to practice using the zoom application repeatedly. It will make you get the hang of the app, and you will not make silly mistakes on the interview chat.

Dealing with Technical Issues during Remote Interview Process

It is essential to keep it at the back of your mind before the interview that no candidate is above technical issues. It could be a power outage or internet issues; whichever it is, it is essential to have a backup plan in the case that any technical issues should come up.

It is advisable to have a fully charged cell phone to switch to in case of any eventualities. Your computer might experience glitches, or it could be a result of something beyond you; whatever it is, always prepare and have a plan B.

However, every hiring process has setbacks; it is essential not to let these setbacks stand in one’s way.

Standing out during a Remote Job Interview

Standing out is necessary, especially if you’re applying for a position with many candidates applying at the same time. There are many ways to make yourself stand out as the ideal candidate for the job position, mostly if it’s an executive position.

  • Show your employer you have a good understanding of the job and what it entails: It is a rule of thumb to make a prospective employer get a picture of how much you understand the role you’re applying for. Most candidates are more particular about unnecessary details; some waste their time stating what they could do; it is, in all honesty, better to discuss how well you understand the company, its values, and the role you’re being employed to play in the company so that your employer trusts how well you can do.
  • Market yourself as well as you possibly can: the purpose of an interview is to show your company hiring, what sets you apart from the other candidates and what values you could potentially bring to the company. Suppose you’re interviewing for an executive position. In that case, you should show the company how much of a fantastic manager you are, how well your managerial skills have yielded significant results in the past, and how well they will yield results when applied to their company. A company hiring for an executive position expects the candidates for this kind of position to prove themselves; marketing yourself is the proper way to. Show how reliable you are and how responsive you have been in the past. Show how accessible you are during work hours and how much a problem solver you can be.
  • Show your prospective employer that you’re self-motivated: self-motivation is the most crucial skill for remote work. A candidate who shows that they are highly self-motivated has a higher chance of being hired for a remote position, especially an executive remote position. It is human nature to slack off when one is not self-motivated or driven about their job or projects they have to deliver. It is a great step in the right direction to state one of the previously completed tasks without external motivation from either employers or coworkers. It gives a candidate an edge to explain just how self-motivated they can be.
  • Show your prospective employer how emotionally intelligent you are: most companies look out for emotional intelligence and eventually pick employees based on how emotionally intelligent they appear to be. As a candidate, you will have to work on presenting how emotionally intelligent you are; this you can do by practicing questions that could be asked to show how emotionally intelligent you are.

One of the things that candidates for remote jobs should keep in mind is that remote job interviews are just interviews. As long as a candidate is prepared and understands the role they are applying for, the candidate does not need to fret. They have to be sure about their skills and how much the prospective company needs such a set of skills. A candidate might have to learn something new before the interview or might choose not to; the bottom line for everything is proving yourself the best candidate for the job.

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