The Robot Butt Guide To Remote Job Interviewing

Remote job interview

With the pandemic lingering and major technological advancement creating new normalized systems of communication not being the fad some of us bet it would be (you’ll get your $20, Dave), it seems like remote job interviewing is going to be a skill everyone will need to make the most out of in their career pursuits going forward. 

Remote job interviews typically consist of a virtual sit-down call over a computer video chatting software like Zoom, Skype, or the haunted Skype-like program from 2014’s Unfriended (same as the program from 2018’s Unfriended: The Dark Web). While some would argue interviewing remotely is barely any different from in-person, the truth is that the typical skills and tips that apply to regular interviewing will never come in handy in a remote interview and should be immediately expunged to make space for these new skills, tips, and tricks. If you find yourself with an in-person interview in the near future, simply forget all of this information and read our article on interviewing in person. 

So, with it in mind that remote interviewing is a dangerous world where mistakes can cost you everything (an average-wage job in a book reselling warehouse), here is a complete guide to nailing it. 

Clothing

Take the vibes you expect the company’s office to exude into account when picking your outfit for an interview. The fastest way to be laughed out of a cool, free thinking, and prosperous new startup is to show up wearing a stuffy suit when you should have had on your best Vineyard Vines long sleeve. If you aren’t sure what the vibes are like, or if you are applying to a traditional boring job like most people, going for slightly-above-business-casual look will do. 

Shirt

Throw on a nice shirt and suit jacket, but skip the tie to show you’re a little dangerous and shouldn’t be fully trusted. 

Pants

It’s easy to think you don’t need suit pants since it’s a video call, but any interviewer worth their salt will at some point do a “pants check” and make you get up and do a full turn. Plus, you want to feel the confidence of being properly dressed. However, why stop there? To really go for confidence, throw on the lower-half item that gives you the biggest buff, such as the gym shorts you won the pickup game in or the blue jeans you had on when you recorded your first big hit single. Go for maximum stat bonuses and sacrifice the cosmetic points.

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Shoes

Always remember the rule that the more they hurt your feet, the fancier the shoes are.

Belt

All of this should be worn with a basic brown belt, obviously. 

Interview Setup

Make sure to have your key and fill lights ready. If you have one available, use a webcam or a 1895 Lumiere Brothers crank film camera instead of your computer’s built-in webcam.

Internet Connection

Networks at home can be inconsistent so take your computer to a public place with free WiFi like a coffee shop or a main room at your current place of work.

Background

You have control over where wandering eyes drift to. Fill the space behind you with any of these staples:

  • Karate trophy (can be bought online)
  • Bookshelf of smart person books (The Bell Jar, Atlas Shrugged, etc.)
  • Enticing candy bowl

Interviewing

Despite what you’ve maybe heard, remote interviewing is pretty similar to in-person. Stick to everything you learned from our previous article, Get Any Job You Want With Four Simple Tricks and One Medieval Battle Axe, and you’ll be most of the way there.

Here are the few remote tips you need to get the rest of the way:

Do

  • Casually mention you are 6’5″ in person and look shorter on camera.
  • Add them on Facebook during the interview
  • Smile and nod constantly 
  • Give smart and funny answers to every question 
  • Ask smart and funny questions
  • Craft a perfect-length anecdote that is both funny, humanizing, and displays total professionalism and then slip it into conversation naturally

Don’ts

  • Be on a phone interview 
  • Ask why the other person is blacked out of all the photos on the shelf behind them
  • Eat from the candy bowl (do not be enticed!)
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Phone Interviews

One likely scenario is that before you can even get to the Zoom interview you’ll be asked to do a short phone screening. Often this is just the company’s way of making sure you are actually qualified and haven’t gone missing since applying to the position.

Answering

Let the phone ring six to nineteen times, then allow thirty seconds of silence and them saying “hello?” before finally saying hello back. This immediately shifts the power from them to you. 

Tone

Your tone should be friendly, but professional. Casual, but focused. Sociable, but work-minded. Easygoing, but in dire need of this job. 

Always take time to ask questions like:

  • What are the work hours most consistently like?
  • What do you do with your free time?
  • Who do you spend that time with?
  • Where do you and those people like to go?
  • What nights typically?
  • Do you feel like there is room for another cool person to assimilate into the group if you were to run into them naturally on one of these excursions and immediately discover they like the same music, movies, and other things you do?
  • What music, movies, and other things do you like?

Hanging Up

Thank them for their time, then accidentally say “goodbye, love you.” This will give you something to dwell on indefinitely until you ultimately decide that mistake cost you a callback. 

Pre-Recorded Interviews

Every once in a while I have seen an online interview system where the company requests a short video recording that answers the written question(s) they present. Sometimes these systems don’t even show you the question until you hit record and do not allow any stopping or resetting. While rare, these interview tools are still used despite being outlawed as psychological torture weapons by the 2019 Geneva Conventions. 

When facing one of these systems, here are steps to take to ensure you put your best virtual foot forward. 

Prepare

Practice a tight minute that highlights the biggest strengths to you as an employee. No matter what the prompt says, do this minute with a forced smile and dead eyes.

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Be Present

Recording is the hardest part. Everyone besides me is nervous on camera and there’s always the looming paranoia that the video won’t even be watched. That’s why you don’t record a video. Instead, drive to the headquarters of wherever you are applying. Fly or take a train if necessary. Once there, let reception know you are there for your virtual interview with the hiring manager. If COVID restrictions are forcing the company to work remotely, look up the hiring manager for the role you are applying to and drive to their home. You can find their address through a quick Google search or by paying someone questionable through Fiverr.com.

Record

Now in front of the hiring manager, begin your recording as if you are talking to your webcam. Deliver your rehearsed minute with a convincingly casual demeanor that says “I’m professional yet approachable!” They will give you a dumbfounded look as no one has ever impressed them with initiative as much as you just did today. Make a note that if they would like to watch the video again or forward along to anyone else in the company that you’d be happy to free up time in your schedule and come back.

Follow Up

You have their address.

Get Hired!

Following this guide should lead you to gainful employment in no time! If it doesn’t, you did it wrong. Try again. Then, congratulations, you’ve got a new job! All that’s left to do is kick back, relax, and send us exactly 10% of all your earnings. That’s the cost of the guide and by reading to this point you are legally obligated to pay.

We wish you the best of luck in your job search and look forward to the steady income you will be sending us (or if you refuse, we look forward to pulverizing you in a court of law).

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