Remote interview: Here I go (interview types and tips)

Are you applying for a remote position? For a on-site position but the interviewer is on another branch outside your city? Are preparing yourself for future interviews? Let’s see 4 types of interview and tips to prepare for them.

There are four types of interviews you can find while applying for a new job.

1. Conversation

In conversational interviews, the interviewer will start a casual conversation about your experience, your past positions and your skills. Be ready to describe one or two past projects.

When describing your projects, make sure to include:

2. Interrogation

In interrogational interviews, the interviewer will have a list of predefined questions to test your knowledge on the skills required for the position.

Be ready to answer questions of the type:

3. Programming exercise

In exercise-type interviews, the interviewer will ask you to open a text editor to solve one or two exercises to test algorithms and data structures. Have a development environment ready!

In the past, I’ve been asked to evaluate postfix expressions, solve two-sum problem and shift an array elements to the right.

4. Homework

In homework interviews, the interviewer will ask you to solve a medium-size coding challenge in a couple of hours or even days.

Use Git and write good commit messages. Follow best practices and code as clean as possible! It’s time to show off your coding skills.

Dont’ forget to add a README file to your solution. Include features you implemented, libraries you used, major design decisions you made and how to install your solution.

If you’re asked to solve a coding challenge, check these ten tips to solve your next interview coding challenge. I will give you more tips on naming and documentation.

Tips for your next remote interview
Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Before, during and after the interview day

Now you know the interview types, it’s time to move on to the interview preparation.

  1. Check the date and time. Make sure you have the time in your own timezone. Don’t show up the wrong time.
  2. Install and setup the software needed. Is it Skype, Zoom or Hangouts? Did you receive an invitation link? Do you need a password to use the link?
  3. Do not answer the videocall using your cellphone. Do you remember the type of interviews? It isn’t that comfortable to solve an exercise using the phone. You will inspire more trust turning on your camera.
  4. Use video only if the interviewer uses it. Online etiquette.
  5. Reduce background noise. Do not answer the videocall from a cafe, a shopping mall or a public hotspot. If you are staying at home, ask the people around you not to disturb you while in the interview.
  6. Show up 10 minutes earlier. Don’t be late.
  7. Be ready to introduce yourself using an elevator pitch. You will have less than 30 seconds to say who you are and what you have done professionally. Make sure to include in your pitch:
    • Years of experience
    • Education
    • Type of projects you have worked with: banking, marketing, etc
    • Specialty: fullstack, backend, fronted, mobile, etc
    • Languages, frameworks and tools you know
    • A hobby. Be memorable
  8. Be precise. Answer within 60 seconds. Don’t talk too much.
  9. Summarize all your skills and strengths, before finishing the meeting. Give a good last impression.

Final tips

Voila! Now, you know the type of interviews you will find. Be prepared for them! Practice your elevator pitch and your project descriptions. Have a printed copy of them next to you during the interview, in case of panic attack. Be enthusiast and precise.

For more resources on interviews, check these two online resources: 7 Interview Tips That Will Help You Get Hired and 60 seconds and you are hired

This post was inspired by all the tips I have received from colleagues, managers and the Internet while preparing for remote interviews

Happy interviewing!