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Bruno Gelb
Bruno Gelb

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7 things to do in 15 minutes before your remote job interview

I often see people come unprepared in one small way or another to the Zoom / Google Meet job interviews, and that could stand in a way between them and the job opportunity of their desires. So perhaps a checklist could be of help here. Here's mine, in the order of priority:

1] visit a loo

Pretty self-descriptive action point. Take your medicine preemptively if you're not in a good health.

2] soundcheck your equipment: mic, headphones, webcam

Open the application for the upcoming call (Zoom / Google Meet / Skype / ..) and thoroughly check if your hardware is working correctly there. After that check, don't even breathe on your setup: no cable replugging, no operational system reboots, no nothing.

This action point is important enough to even ask for a reschedule if you're discovered technical issues. Don't be afraid to do that.

3] prepare a bottle of (still) water or a glass of tea

Preferably avoid anything that looks like beer or wine (kvass, vine juice) or has unobvious packaging. Don't drink alcohol (even if you're tempted to use it as a stress relief tool w/o consequences since you're remote) as you'll definitely need a clear head and a distinctive speech! Sparkling soda is suboptimal due to possible burping.

If you take some medication on a regular basis (cough medicine, antacids, ..), check your stash to be promptly available to you.

4] find a notepad and a pencil

Taking notes on a keyboard (especially on a mechanical one, but on a regular one as well) annoys most of the people: they assume you're not listening / you're distracting them. Pencil notes on the other hand are the whole different thing: they're nice and handy and you'd be able to do so much more with the paper (for instance, sketch during a brain teaser).

5] remove cats and people from the room

Tzeentch is trying to score some scratches from me as I type these strokes. But he's not welcome in the room when it's the interview time and neither do significant others and flatmates.

If what you have is only one room, try to warn the people to be quiet for a while and ask them for a favor of watching the pets. (Make some lasagna afterwards as a gratitude!)

6] have all necessary information and tools ready on your pc

Open & pin cv and a job opening description ready in the browser. Get your checklist of questions to the firm / project ready. If we're talking a programming interview, keep a console with repl ready.

7] notify the interviewer that you're ready

Join the meeting and throw a brief email / text to the person you've spoken to. Generally that's not a requirement, but it's always nice to be as transparent and proactive as possible — as Harvey Specter said, first impressions last.

Good luck!

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