5 tips to totally nail that remote job interview
This story is part of my Adventures in unemployment series.
So you’re back on the prowl! For a job, I mean. Navigating the new normal that is the socially distant employment market can be difficult for job seekers, but nothing is more nerve-racking than the lead-up to the video interview! Having lived through a multitude of such experiences myself since losing my job last year, I am in the not-at-all-unique position of being able to offer my advice for fellow job hunters. Here are five tips for nailing your next remote job interview.*
1. No pants!
If you don’t have to wear ’em, why would you? It’s business on the top, lazy unemployed bum on the bottom. Literally. Just remember not to stand up.
2. You can wear dirty clothes and don’t have to shower!
They can see you, they can hear you, but until someone invents Smell-O-Zoom, they definitely can’t smell you! Haven’t showered in a week? Woke up reeking of Old German again? Don’t worry about it! And to throw the interviewer further off course, hit them with a, “Wow, I know I look great — but be glad you can’t smell me! Haha!” This type of friendly banter will set you both at ease, and the interviewer will naturally assume you’re joking about your terrible BO. Classic misdirection!
3. You can get away with a drink or two (or three!)
Have you ever felt that you’d interview better after a shot and a chaser? Well, now you can! Without the fear of an in-person interviewer being able to smell alcohol on your breath, you can imbibe freely. This will definitely help with those “creative” interview questions about golf balls in busses and the shape of (wo)man hole covers. Cheers!
4. Make sure you prep Microsoft Teams at least 24 hours in advance
I have no idea why one app gets chosen over another, but many employers have switched from Zoom to Teams these days, so you better be ready for it. Teams is notorious for just not working — especially if you’re a POWER USER like me who likes to hook up an external webcam. If you’re on a Mac and want to use an external camera with Teams, get ready to enter, like, seven Terminal commands just to get it to work. I literally keep this link bookmarked because I know I’ll need to reference those instructions again the next time Microsoft updates Teams. Annoying!
5. Feign a poor connection to get out of answering a question you don’t know
Who really knows how many golf balls fit in a school bus? You sure don’t! When hit with a hard question, your natural inclination will be to freeze up. Good! Lean into that. Hold yourself as still as possible and don’t make a sound. The other party will have no choice but assume your network has grown unstable. To take it to the next level, begin a series of staccato head movements like the girl in The Ring to further cement the idea of severe network lag (do not actually crawl through your screen, however, as you don’t want to inadvertently open a portal to an IRL job interview — the jig would be up!). Then, as quickly as possible, reach over and close your laptop lid, mash Command-Q (or Alt-F4, if you must) or unplug the Ethernet cable. Whew, that was a close one!
*These interview tips are not legal or financial advice. In fact, they are not any type of advice and should be ignored entirely. Except the one about Microsoft Teams. That’s real.