In a post-pandemic era where the majority of tech companies have transitioned to adopting a hybrid or fully remote working policy, it’s not only technical skills that are in demand. The ability to operate efficiently in a remote or hybrid environment has become crucial for success in order for employees to navigate a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.
So, you just received a first interview request for a role and company you’re really excited about, congrats! What now? Here are some tips to prepare and make sure you put your best foot forward.
Be on time and connected
This might be the most straightforward tip of them all, but companies that operate remotely or have teams based in other locations, need their employees to be on time and available for virtual meetings. When the recruiter schedules the first interview, make sure you familiarise yourself with the platform and double-check your sound, video and connection speed before the interview starts (that means the day before, not 2 minutes before the time!) so you can troubleshoot any issues and make sure you start the interview off on a positive note.
Do some research
This is applicable to most roles and industries, but any tech-based company worth working for will have a decent online presence. Check out their LinkedIn, latest blogs/news and other social media to see the latest on their products/services/partnerships or other developments. If you get the opportunity to ask questions, this is a great way to show that you’re informed and up to date as well as your interest in the future employer.
Use the time wisely
Most first interviews are quite short and can range anywhere from 15-45 minutes, depending on the level of the role. This goes by surprisingly quickly and there is a lot the interviewer would want to cover, so try as best as you can to listen to what the interviewer is asking so you can provide relevant information without spending too much time on your high school subjects or what your cat was up to last night. You want to make sure you leave time to ask your questions as well!
In order to have a productive conversation within a limited time frame, think about and communicate clearly about what you have to offer and what you’re looking for in order for you and the first interviewer to decide whether it’s a good idea to invest time in next steps.
Key items to think about:
- What are you really good at? What key skills do you have that match the role or that you can bring in addition?
- What are you not good at? What are you not interested in? The interviewer might not ask this from you, but knowing what you’re not passionate about is helpful in exploring a new role to know if it’s a good match for you.
- What is important to you in a role? Does this role ‘tick’ your main boxes? Not every role is perfect, so asking questions about work-life balance or flexible hours, growth opportunities, team structure and management, salary potential, benefits etc. can help you weigh up the options and decide if it’s worth moving forward with the process.
While the interviewer will guide the questions, an interview is always a two-way conversation, so make sure you use this time well to get the most out of it.
Be available and flexible
Make sure that during the interview process you’re available on email/phone for the hiring team to contact you and arrange the next steps. Fast and efficient communication in a remote environment is key to success. If you know you’ll be stuck in meetings/have planned time off, give the recruiter a heads up so it’s easier to coordinate between teams. It might seem old-fashioned, but a quick thank you note after an interview goes a long way to not only thank the team for their time and express your interest in the role but indirectly reminds them to schedule you for the next steps (hopefully!) without sounding pushy.
A company worth working for will be open to hiring candidates that can bring their whole selves to work. In a remote environment, the home office and who you are outside of work is now blended with what you do for a living, so often the hiring team would want to know a bit more about you. This means that you can be professional and still show your personality, passions and interests in the interview. In checking out the company’s public persona and tone of the brand, you should also get a good idea if it aligns with the type of company culture that you’re looking for.
These are our top tips for making sure you nail your next interview – sending good thoughts and lots of good luck!
If you’re interested in a career that makes an impact, join the HyperionDev team in our mission to close the global tech skills gap. View our job openings here.