By Mike Haaren – Rat Race Rebellion Co-Founder – June 17, 2019
Work from Home Jobs – Nailing Your Interview
Depending on the company and your location, your work from home job interview will probably be over the phone and/or via cam. Here are 20 tips to help you nail it.
— Do a practice interview with a friend or family member over the phone and over video. Ask them to critique your performance, and take their suggestions to heart.
— Make sure you’ve got a quiet place for the phone interview. If by cam, make sure your setting puts you in your best light. Beware barking dogs, crying babies, lawn mowers, and cell phone ring tones and text alerts. For live cam interviews, make sure you didn’t leave that “memorable” bachelorette party picture on the wall behind you!
— Be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, reasons for applying to the company, career goals, and compensation requirements. Pros prep. Amateurs wing it. (And interviewers can spot both.)
— Listen carefully before you answer, and don’t rush to fill a silence. When we’re under pressure, we tend to listen superficially and focus on how we’re going to answer. And when silence blooms, our anxiety does too, and we often rush in to fill it. The first leads to poor responses, and the second makes us look insecure and unreliable. Keep taking those slow, deep breaths. And when there’s a brief gap in the dialogue — assuming the ball is in the interviewer’s court — wait for him or her to resume.
— Try to schedule interviews earlier in the day. Most people have more energy before mid-afternoon, and it will be easier to make a good impression. Make sure you don’t get ambushed by the “afternoon blahs”!
— Weave in references to your remote or independent work. Many employers still worry about the ability of home-based workers to perform far from HQ. If you’ve worked remotely, be sure to weave it in. If you haven’t worked remotely but have worked with little or no supervision, highlight that experience. This will help reassure them.
— Read Facebook and Glassdoor comments about what to expect in the interview. Facebook and Glassdoor can be a rich source of inside tips on what to anticipate in your interview. On our own Facebook page, members often share their interview experiences. Or you can spark the discussion yourself by posting a simple, “Has anyone worked here?” Glassdoor often includes employee comments about interview questions. You can search their site by company.
— Make sure your clothes and makeup (if you wear it) convey the impression you want to make. Dark colors often make the best interview choice because they convey seriousness and confidence, though of course it all depends on the job. Ask friends and family for feedback as you make your clothing and makeup choices.
— If asked why you’d like to work from home, focus on the benefits to the employer. For example, “I’m a self-motivated worker who is more productive when working in my own space.” Be sure NOT to focus on potential negatives or distractions (“My aging ferret needs round-the-clock care” or “I want to spend more time with my newborn quintuplets during the day”).
— Take time to learn about the company and the job. Do your homework. Informed questions and answers convey professionalism (“pros prep”), your appreciation of the interviewer’s interest in you as a candidate, and your own interest in the job.
— Standing up during a phone interview often makes people feel more confident. Interviewers would much rather hear confidence than uncertainty — especially when the interview is for an offsite job.
— Be genuine, not fake. Yes, we all have to brighten up our personalities a bit when we interview, like turning up the rheostat on a light bulb. But you know how easy it is to spot fake enthusiasm, exaggeration, bogus fascination (“That’s soooo interesting!”) and the like. Assume your interviewer can, too.
— Watch out for “motormouth.” Don’t chatter and yammer. Be warmly but comfortably concise. We all tend to talk too much when we’re nervous — like rushing to fill a silence — especially when we’re trying to gloss over a weak spot in our resumes. But if you keep your answers well-reasoned and to-the-point, you’ll reduce the chances of motormouth.
— Don’t try to “suck up” to the interviewer. The more we need a job, the more likely we’ll try to brownnose the hirer. That may work when you have an insecure boss who wants groupies rather than individuals. But chances are it will backfire in a job interview. Why? Because the interviewer’s in the catbird seat. No reason for them to be insecure. Plus, do you like brownnosers?
— Research the interviewer and find points in common. With social media — especially Facebook and LinkedIn — it’s fairly easy to get a sense of who your interviewer is. Look for points in common that you can use to connect with your interviewer. (But don’t overdo it — see “sucking up,” above.) It could be a place, or a sport or hobby, or an experience. Touch upon it and see what sparks. A warm conversation beats a routine Q&A every time.
— Ask the interviewer when it is expected that a decision will be made. Also ask if you can follow up after a certain time if there’s been no reply. On that note, don’t forget to check your spam folder for a job offer intended for your inbox! When people are looking for jobs, the gremlins have an infinite sense of mischief.
— Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to have interviewed! Small courtesies make a big difference in an interview. After all, the interviewer has just met you, and small details carry more weight than they do with people who know you. Show your polish, and follow up with a brief non-sucking-up email thank-you as well.
— If you’re interviewing with software — an automated interview — no live interviewer:
How do you prep for an automated interview? Apart from the conventional checklist — quiet place, appropriate dress (clothes directly influence how we present ourselves), resume at hand, etc. — here are a few suggestions:
— Make sure you’ve researched the culture of the company. This will give you a sense of who might be listening to you after any software screening has been done. In your interview, speak with that in mind.
— Go on sites like LinkedIn and look for the profiles of the people most likely to be involved in the hiring decision. This can help you “keep it personal,” not artificial.
— Then check social media as well. If the hiring manager loves dogs, for example, don’t you have a little soft spot for them too?
Find more work from home jobs on our Newest Jobs & Gigs page. May you be working from home soon!
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