Although face to face interviews are the most common, telephone and video interviews (such as skype) are gaining in popularity. These are often used to minimize the expenses of interviewing an out-of-town candidate. Similar to face to face interviews, you should always prepare for common questions, research the company, keep your answers to 2 minutes or less, ask questions at the end of the interview, and send a thank you note within 48 hours.
Telephone Interview Tips
- Be prepared! An employer could call you to set up a phone interview or ask if you have a few minutes right then to answer some basic questions. If you know you don’t have time to interview right then (such as if you’re at the grocery store or there are noisy kids or pets in the background), just let it go to voicemail and call them back as soon as you can.
- Act like it’s an in-person interview. Don’t wear your pajamas and lounge on the couch. Dress up, sit up straight, turn off the TV and other distractions, and smile a lot during the interview. You can hear a smile through the phone!
- Have your resume ready so you can easily refer to it during the interview. You can even glance down at any notes you have made, but don’t make it obvious.
- Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink (however, it is okay to have a glass of water handy).
- Speak slowly and enunciate. It’s sometimes difficult to understand people over the phone, so make sure you clearly pronounce every word. Do not use speakerphone.
- Take your time. It’s perfectly appropriate to take a few moments to collect your thoughts. However, if you linger too long it could create an awkward silence.
- If you have access to it, use a landline for the interview. If you must use a cell phone, make sure you are in an area where you get good coverage.
Video Interviewing Tips
- Be sure you know how to use the software program they are asking you to use. Download it to your computer and become familiar with how it works.
- Dress the part. Since they will physically see you, it’s important that you dress as if the interview was in person.
- Be conscious of your surroundings. Avoid casual settings, like your living room, and public places, like Starbucks. Pay close attention to the background, including lighting, because that is what the interviewers will see.
- Rehearse. Utilize Interviewstream to work out kinks, like where you’ll put your hands and your voice tone and volume, by recording yourself and watching it back.
- Smile and relax. Look into the camera and not the image on the computer.
- Plan for technical difficulties. Don’t become frustrated, simply try to work through the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Use high speed internet and keep your device plugged in.
- Avoid distractions. Close all other browsers, turn off email notifications, and put your cell phone on silent. If you’re at home, close the door, make sure family members know to not bother you, and keep pets away.