Virtual Communication: Landing the Job Remotely

Use Body Language to Make an Impression

Nonverbal communication is a great tool to help you stand out from the crowd. Too often people don’t realize that body language makes up 55% of the initial impression one makes. This is certainly essential during the interview process. Smile and use gestures when speaking to appear enthusiastic and pleasant. When listening, nod thoughtfully to show you are engaged. If the interview is conducted on the telephone be equally mindful of providing feedback such as “uh-huh” and “I understand,” when the other person is speaking. Finally, don’t forget to sit up straight; slouching will make you seem unprofessional, sloppy, and overly casual. Sitting talk and walking tall will exude confidence (even if you aren’t feeling very confident).

Preparation is Key

In addition to the homework you should do before any job interview (i.e., researching the company culture, preparing answers to common interview questions), you should also think about how to answer questions related to working remotely. For example: Have you ever worked remotely before? How will you engage with your team virtually? What do you feel are the greatest challenges about working from home and how will you overcome them? Be able to answer unexpected questions in a confident matter will go far towards you landing the job. Be sure to minimize the “insecure” words such as “um, uh, like and you know” that may indicate that you are not feeling very secure. Research has shown that using too many of these filler words will make you sound insecure and lacking confidence.

Punctuality Still Matters

Keeping your interviewer waiting is the easiest way to make a bad impression. Aim to be seated at your computer at least ten minutes before your interview is scheduled so that you have time to check your technology and compose yourself. “Arrive” at the interview (i.e., click the link) about one to two minutes before the scheduled start time. Also be sure to download the application if you have never used it before. Do this ahead of time.

Pausing is More Important Than Ever

When answering interview questions, insert short, strategic pauses into your speech. Pausing can help slow you down and keep your message clear and easy to understand. This is especially important in remote communication, since lags and audio overlap can make speech harder to understand. Pausing also helps to project an image of confidence and professionalism, and gives your interviewer time to digest your message as you speak.

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