How to Interview for a Remote Position

How to Interview for a Remote Position

There’s a good chance you’ve done a remote job interview if you’ve applied to jobs since the pandemic started a couple years ago. With fewer companies than ever working in the office, remote interviews have become the norm.

According to a survey by Gartner, about 79% of first-stage interviews were conducted in-person or over the phone prior to the pandemic. Since the pandemic, these statistics have flipped, and 86% of recruiters are doing remote interviews. Experts predict remote interviews will remain common post-pandemic, too.

Entering 2022, many companies were optimistic about returning to the office. But the recent surge of COVID-19 cases because of the Omicron variant has spoiled those plans. Many companies are back to working at home, and it’s become apparent that even when we all return to the office, many aspects of virtual work from the pandemic will remain.

Remote interviews and in-person interviews share many similarities, but the key difference is the use of technology. Preparing for a remote interview means downloading the proper communication software, making sure your sound and microphone work, and a host of other considerations. Once you’re on screen, the interview will feel very familiar to an in-person one, but the trick is to be prepared and agile for tech things that may go wrong.

Empire Resume will detail how to prepare for an interview for a remote position, telling you what to expect and how they differ from in-person interviews.

How to Prepare for a Remote Interview

How to Interview for a Remote Position

The biggest thing to remember in preparing for a remote interview is that you should familiarize yourself with the technology you’ll be using. So along with downloading Zoom or other communication software that’ll be used, make sure you test it with a close friend, so you don’t run into any unpleasant surprises when the interview day comes.

Ensure your audio and video work correctly and that you’re not displaying anything you don’t want your interviewers to see in the background. Some programs like Zoom have a feature where you can blur your background, so that’s something you may want to consider.

On the interview day, do your best to ensure your environment is free from distractions, even if you don’t have a home office. This can be difficult, especially if you have a roommate, kids, or pets. So, if your cat jumps on the desk and won’t get down, don’t be too embarrassed. We’re all human, and the hiring managers and interviewers have probably had it happen to them, too.

Lastly, check your lighting and how your outfit appears on the screen. Certain colors or patterns don’t look great on screen, so choose something that’s neutral and doesn’t draw too much attention. As for lighting, issues can create glare, cause unwelcome shadows, or make you look too dark or bright. Try to set up the most optimal lighting conditions, so you look professional.

What to Expect in a Remote Interview

How to Interview for a Remote Position

Virtual interviews are similar to remote interviews, so many of the same tips apply to both. First off, dress professionally, and don’t think because the interview is remote, you can get away with wearing pajama bottoms! Dress as if the interview is in person because you never know if you’ll have to stand and reveal everything you’re wearing.

Be ready for the most common interview questions. If the job is expected to be completely remote, then expect you’ll be asked about your experience working remotely. The hiring managers will also want to know how you collaborate and communicate with a team in a remote work environment.

With remote interviews, experts also say there may be additional calls. The interview process sometimes moves faster during virtual interviewing but hiring managers may also want to take more time to get to know you given that they won’t be able to meet you in person. Be patient with this, and don’t hesitate to ask what the timeline for hiring is and what the next steps are.

We’re all going through difficult times with the pandemic, and companies are too. Because of this, hiring managers in a remote interview may be especially curious to see how you’ve remained positive and resilient the past couple of years. Be prepared to offer examples of how you’ve overcome career challenges in the past few years or resolved workplace conflicts.

In-person vs. Remote Interviews

How to Interview for a Remote Position

For those that have done remote interviews, you probably know that much of the process feels very similar. Hiring managers still ask similar questions, and the interview process chugs along as it usually does. The key difference is that it’s much harder to pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues when talking with others on screen. Both the hiring manager and applicant need to adjust accordingly.

Experts suggest that job applicants “universalize” how they present themselves on screen during a video interview, thinking of it like they are a news anchor or someone making a video recording presentation. That means being intentional about making small gestures, using an even tone of voice, and avoiding bringing up controversial topics.

It may feel unnatural, but job applicants should also look directly into the camera when speaking and answering questions and not look at the hiring managers. When you look squarely into the camera, you’re looking into the eyes of the hiring manager. If not, it’ll appear like you’re looking off-screen.

Interviews in a Tech-Obsessed World

How to Interview for a Remote Position

Virtual interviews are becoming much more common in today’s tech-obsessed world, and they’ve been a lifesaver during the pandemic. Companies that had to follow COVID-19 rules and social distancing restrictions switched to remote interviews and, even post-pandemic, many firms may continue to use them.

Remote interviews can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you don’t have the best tech skills in the world. But after you get used to them, you’ll find that in-person and remote interviews share many similarities. The main difference between the two is mastering the tech. For example, always make sure your internet connection is fast and stable before conducting a virtual interview. Hiring managers say slow internet that breaks up the flow of an interview’s communication is one of their biggest virtual interview pet peeves.

Stay tuned to the Empire Resume blog for more helpful employment insights, such as articles like Six Things to Never Put on a Resume, Why Millennials are Quitting Their Jobs, and How to Resign from Your Job.

Empire Resume Will Help You Get Hired

How to Interview for a Remote Position

If you’re looking for a remote job, let Empire Resume help you land the interviews that you covet the most. Our team of professional resume writers has years of combined experience creating resumes and LinkedIn profiles that have gotten our clients the results they wanted.

We have greater than a 97% success rate landing our clients’ interviews!


Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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