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By Anja van den Berg

Remote work is here to stay, and, by definition, so is remote interviewing. Many authors and authorities offer tips on how candidates should conduct themselves during online interviews: pre-set the background, don’t interrupt and dress for the occasion. But what will truly set you apart from the large pool of potential candidates?

Rae Ringel, a leadership development consultant, says that interviewees can master the medium to identify as top talent from a distance. Here are three ways they can set themselves apart:

  • Focus on emotional intelligence

Skills and intelligence are essential, but in a post-Covid-19 world the way you represent your emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than ever. EQ defines your ability to relate to others, navigate conflict and ‘read’ the (Zoom) room. When conducting a virtual interview, it can be tempting to give up on the EQ aspect, says Ringel, since it may seem like a quality best assessed in person. However, the candidates who will receive the offers are those who can read between the (virtual) lines, pick up on small nuances and portray an apt sense of humour during the interview.

  • Lean into the intimacy of the screen

Ringel says that there is a certain intimacy that screens can facilitate. During a remote interview, the interviewer and interviewee are sitting inches from one another’s faces. Yet, the screen creates a sense of psychological safety, allowing people to open up more than they might in person. As a candidate, you can benefit from this phenomenon. Although you must stay professional and courteous at all times, you can let your hair down a bit and be more authentic.

  • Remember that you are also interviewing the hiring manager

Interviews are supposed to give both parties valuable information about whether a prospective employee will feel fulfilled and engaged in the job role. Managers are aware that today’s job seekers aren’t just looking to boost their salaries. They are pursuing flexibility, well-being, and a workplace culture that aligns with their values and sensibilities. Take this opportunity to be well-prepared and ask the burning questions on your mind. Look at how the interviewers present themselves. Don’t just notice how they are dressed, but also observe their tone, cadence and choice of interview questions.

 

Sources:

Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2021/10/8-tips-for-conducting-an-excellent-remote-interview

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