About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

Preparing for the remote job interview process will increase your chances of being successful. When going into a new situation, it’s good to know what to expect, so no last-minute shocks occur.

There are some aspects of the process that are different from a local job interview. The basics are pretty much the same: Don’t forget to smile, have a few questions written down, take a deep breath and speak slowly.

Here is what you need to know about the remote job interview process.

Remote Job Interview Process
Pre-interview checks

The first thing you need to be aware of is the interview will take place over a video conferencing call. You will need a webcam, headphones and a microphone. Most companies use a service like Zoom or Google Meet.

You must have a reliable internet connection and a quiet place to be interviewed. It’s highly recommended to have a test call with family or friends if you have not used any of these services before. For more information on remote job video interviews, read my article, written to guide you through the process in more detail.

Interview stages

When you attend a local job interview, all required people will attend, including HR, direct team manager and head of the department. From my experience, that is not the case with remote jobs. On average, you will go through 2-3 interviews to land the job.

First interview with recruitment

The first interview will be with the recruitment team. The interviewer will share more information about the company and its work culture. Most of the questions will be around remote working, personality traits and HR-related topics.

You might get asked a question about why you want to work for the company and what value you bring to the team. Don’t expect too many questions about the role.

Second interview with team manager

The second interview will be with the manager of the team. This is where they will question you about your experience and skills. Take time before the call to think about what type of questions they could ask you.

They will likely ask you questions about teamwork, communication, and specific scenarios that could happen within the role.

If you have proved you would be a valuable asset to the company, then the next stage will be an interview with the head of the department.

Third interview with head of department

This interview is likely to be focused on the company and departmental goals – so they will ask how you can help achieve them. Again, they will try and gather more detail about experience and skills. At this point, the interviews will likely end here.

That said, some companies will want the founder to interview you, especially for management roles or a highly paid position within the company. Do not be surprised if you have 4-5 interviews, although this is rare for most remote jobs.

Personality test

Not all companies ask you to complete a personality test, but some will. You might have heard of the Myers Briggs type indicators, which highlights how you would handle certain situations. The tests help employers discover what type of person you are.

The test will not be complicated. It’s a series of multiple-choice questions. Take the test yourself here for free and make a note of your personality type.

The company might ask you to complete a personality test before, or, after the interview. Do not answer based on what you think the company wants you to answer.

Paid trials

For some roles, you might be expected to complete a paid trial to test your knowledge and skills. Keep calm, read the instructions thoroughly and complete the tests to the best of your ability.

If you are invited, you’re close to landing the job. This is an opportunity to make a good impression and showcase your skills. The trial takes no longer than 4 hours.

Contract negotiation

You have arrived at the negotiation stage, congratulations, you have got the job! The final step in the remote job interview process is negotiation. Most remote job listings do not include a rate of pay or annual salary. Take time to research what other companies are paying for a similar role, and negotiate from there.

What if you are unsuccessful?

Firstly, you must gather feedback from the interview. Try and find out why the other candidate was successful and where you need to improve.

Learn from the experience, move on to the next job. Do not let a decision, which you have no control over, stop you achieving your goal. Take a break for a couple of days and then re-start the search. Keep taking action.

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