The In-Person Interview

September 7, 2010

Chapter 3 – Land The Remote Job You Love

Even if you will be working remotely, you almost always need to meet the company face-to-face before they will hire you. This means taking a trip to a different city, talking with people you have never met, and asking them to judge your professional worth.

Be prepared. Mark Horstman says, “Your job is to know your background well enough—and to be so skilled at delivering it through a series of preparatory processes of practicing the big questions you are going to get in an interview — that when you get interviewed you can answer any question that someone throws at you, whether they are HR, IT, or a software engineer.”

Be excited. “The best way to convince an HR representative that you can work well remotely is to have the right background results and a very persuasive, engaging, friendly, warm, smiling (even on the phone), interview.”

Dress nicely. Many offices are casual, but it is still a good idea to dress well. The interviewee should be better dressed than the interviewer.

Ask questions. They are interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them. Asking questions will also give you a little more control over the interview. A question is a gentle way to guide the interview in the direction you want.

Answer questions. The interviewer will ask you questions. Answer the question you are asked, not the question you wish you were asked.

Listen. Talking is important, but so is listening. Give people the chance to talk about themselves and the company.

Take notes. Bring a paper notebook rather than a laptop. A paper notebook lies flat on the table and doesn’t interfere with your ability to interact with the interviewer. A laptop sits in front of you and gets in the way of interaction.

Ask for names and titles. Write down the name and title of every person you talk to. Ask where that person fits into the company, and take their business card.

Be confident. Or learn to fake it. Interviews are stressful, but you must do your best to appear confident, calm, and collected. Arrive early so you aren’t rushing, get plenty of sleep the night before, and take a moment to breathe.

Talk about yourself. The purpose of the interview is to let potential employers learn more about you. Help them out by talking about yourself. Tell stories from your life (make sure they are safe for the workplace). Taking the time to talk a little more will help the other person get to know you.

Never decide you don’t want the job during the interview. You can’t hide your discontent from the interviewer if you make up your mind that you don’t like the company during the interview. Delay any decision until after the interview is over and leave on the best possible terms. Remember, the person working at the company you don’t like may be hiring for your dream job later.

Be polite. Make sure to look people in the eye, give them a good handshake, and say please and thank you.

All of these steps are about one thing: getting a job offer. Once you have the job offer you need to accept it and that is a more complicated than just saying yes.

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