Remote interviews can present some new challenges for candidates. The key to success is to understand the pitfalls, be well prepared, and to know what to do if things don’t go to plan.


Setting up

•          Choose a bright, quiet, and well-organised location

•          Check the background, what will the other person see?

•          Make sure you have a strong phone or internet signal

•          If you are using your phone’s camera for a video call, avoid holding it in your hand; place the phone on a stable surface so that you can focus on the interview

•          Dress comfortably and professionally, in a smart or smart casual style

•          Avoid wearing stripes or strong patterns, they can strobe on the screen and be off-putting to your interviewer

•          Try to ensure you won’t be interrupted by other people, children, pets or phones ringing



•          Research the company and the role, and make written notes

•          Read through your CV, cover letter and the job description beforehand

•          Be ready, composed and sat down 5-10 minutes before the interview is due to start

•          Ensure your phone or laptop are fully charged, and your chargers are available

•          Have a ‘Plan B’, what will you do if you can’t be seen or heard? How else could you contact your interviewer to let them know if you’re having technical issues?

•          Be prepared to answer questions on how you would handle the challenges of remote working, e.g. How will you build working relations with new colleagues? How will you maintain your motivation, productivity and the quality of your work?



•          Make sure the technology works; set up your phone and laptop well in advance

•          Ask someone to help with a run-through, to practice your delivery and to overcome nerves

•          Check that your face is correctly framed on the screen, look up towards a camera, not down

•          Avoid getting too close to the camera or microphone, it can distort the sound or create strange visual effects



•          Have printed copies of your CV, cover letter and the job description to refer to

•          Write out any questions you want to ask

•          Make a checklist of the top 4-5 things you want to make sure the interviewer knows about you by the end of the interview, and work out how you will bring these into the discussion


During the interview

•          Speak clearly and slowly, keep the dialogue flowing and avoid awkward silences

•          Establish a good rapport, maintain eye contact, remain focused and relaxed

•          Ask for a question to be repeated if you’re unclear how to respond

•          Have a glass of water and a tissue to hand

•          Keep calm and let the interviewer know if something goes wrong - remember, the way you handle these challenges will demonstrate how you can handle pressure


If you are looking for work and would value some support from an experienced Ingeus work coach, ask your local Jobcentre Plus to refer you to an Ingeus programme today.