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The Interview Kickstart Remote Interview Survival Guide: Part 1

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Ashwin Ramachandran
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About The Author!
Ashwin Ramachandran
Ashwin Ramachandran
Head of engineering at Interview Kickstart. Playing in the field of technology with the tools of Java for more than a decade. A mind full of innovative ideas and curiosity for exploring data.

Here's what this article will cover:

  1. Remote interviews are not a new thing. They are just happening at an unprecedented scale now.
  2. Don’t Overthink Remote Interviews 
  3. Remote interviews are awkward for some interviewers too!
  4. Start your prep with the recruiter

Remote interviews are not a new thing. They are just happening at an unprecedented scale now.

As many of you are aware, tech companies worldwide have transitioned to working from home in the wake of the CoronaVirus Pandemic, and interviews have gone remotely.

Since 2014, thousands of Software Engineers have trusted Interview Kickstart to help them uplevel in their career. To date, we have generated over $200 million in student-offers and helped our alumni transition into the most competitive jobs on the market.

We had a chance to catch up with some of our Alumni, Instructors, Mock Interviewers, and Career Coaches from companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Airbnb so that we could build the ultimate Remote Interviewing Survival Guide.

In this 4-part series, we will share what we learned about remote interviews, how you should set up your “home office” for interview success, what could go wrong, and other best practices to prepare you for your next remote interview.

Don’t Overthink Remote Interviews  

While this may feel foreign to us, video interviews have been a very common practice for years, and it is important that we don’t delay our interviews. Companies like LinkedIn, Google, Amazon, and others have used video interviewing as a way to accelerate growth when opening offices in new states or countries. Even local onsite interviews can have remote components from time to time if someone on the panel is on a trip or working from another building across the campus.

The prevailing belief is that a good engineer should be prepared to solve problems regardless of the circumstance and being prepared can actually become a competitive advantage for you.

Remote interviews are awkward for some interviewers too!

You’re not alone. Remote interviews can be awkward or even uncomfortable for many interviewers. Here are three tips to make them feel at ease:  

  1. Be empathetic to their situation and use this as an opportunity to connect with the interviewer on a personal level.
  2. You will need to make more of an effort to show your communication skills and personality as some of this can be lost when you are not meeting in person.
  3. Your interview will be no more or less challenging than a traditional onsite, and your odds of being hired are virtually the same. Pun intended.  

Start your prep with the recruiter

To get the best understanding of what to expect in any interview, it’s always best to start with your recruiter. This is especially true when it comes to remote interviews as you will need to handle many of the logistics on your end. Here are seven critical questions to ask:

  1. Is there a preference between solving problems on a whiteboard, or can I work directly through online tools?
  2. Are there any preferred tools for video chat, coding, drawing, etc?
  3. Can I use my own preferred tools?
  4. Is there anything that the interviewers would like me to prepare to validate my identification?
  5. Am I in the same time zone as my interviewers? (e.g. Be sure that you are starting at 9:00 AM PST and not 9:00 AM EST or CST)
  6. What is my schedule for the day of the interview?
  7. How many people to expect and what you will be generally assessed on?

Once you have an understanding of the company’s recommendations, you can start to experiment with different setups and tools. In Part 2 of Interview Kickstart’s ultimate Remote Interview Survival Guide, we will dive deeper into how to set up your “home office” as well as some of the best tools to leverage for remote interviews.  

Be the first to know when we share more content like this as well as info about upcoming events by following any of our social media below. See you in the next part!





Posted on 
April 23, 2020

Ashwin Ramachandran

Head of Engineering @ Interview Kickstart. Enjoys cutting through the noise and finding patterns.

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