Preparing for Phone and Video Interviews

Prior to Phone and Video Interview

There are many things you can do to prep for both phone and video interviews. There are a lot of similarities to prepping for in-person interviews so consider reviewing Step 5: In-Person Interview Prep as well as the below information. Remember, there are some great advantages to a phone/video interview over a in-person interview if you prepare properly!

Research the company ahead of time            

Know as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with by checking out their website. One tip is to find a picture of the person interviewing you on LinkedIn or on the company’s website. If you know what the interviewer looks like, it may be easier to talk to them!

Be sure to eliminate as many distractions as possible

Chances are, you will be at home while participating in this interview. Background noise should be considered such as loud noises such as car horns and other traffic noises, children playing or crying, barking dogs, etc. Be sure to lock yourself in a room alone that has the best cell phone reception!

Prepare your technology

Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged! Also, if you don’t already have it, make sure you have the interviewer’s phone number in case you get disconnected! Turn off call-waiting so your call isn’t interrupted and it doesn’t distract you. If attending a video interview, make sure your camera works, that your audio/sound is at a proper level, and your computer is charged.

Download any needed software

Sometimes with video interviewing platforms such as Zoom, you may have to download the software beforehand. Be sure to check ahead of time and have everything downloaded and prepared prior to the interview start time.

Confirm contact information

Before the call, make sure you’ve confirmed the date, time and the interviewer's name. Consider asking for the interviewer's e-mail address so you can send a thank you note at the end of the interview. Make sure you confirm who will be calling who for the actual interview. Be ready and in place 15 minutes ahead of the set start time.

Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview

You may be thinking that the interviewer can't see you at all in a phone interview or only your face during a video interview, however, there is a lot to be said about feeling and sounding professional when you look the part! Dress like you would for an in-person interview to get yourself into the best professional mindset.

Watch your background

Specific to video interviews, it's important to be mindful of what the employer can see behind you! Busy backgrounds can be very distracting. Also, avoid having a window in the background because the light can cause a glare and make it hard to see you.

Adjust your camera

If you are using your camera in a video interview, make sure your computer/camera is at eye level so you are making eye contact with the interviewer rather than looking down or leaning down into the computer. It's important to make it as close to a face-to-face interview as possible.

    During the Phone or Video Interview

    Take notes

    Have pen and paper near to take notes as needed. Still have 3-5 questions prepared to ask the interviewer when the interview is complete.

    Be aware of your facial expressions

    Believe it or not, people on the other line can “hear” your attitude and mood. You can't use your body language to convey and emphasize your enthusiasm so it’s important that you try to convey it through your voice. Try smiling as much as you can while you speak. It works!

    Food and water

    Keep a glass of water near you during the interview to combat dry throat or a random cough. Be careful to take a sip (if needed) when the interviewer is talking and not while you're answering a question. Abstain from smoking, chewing gum, and eating during the interview!

    Slow down and be patient

    Wait for the interviewer to finish their question and be sure not to interrupt. Since you can't play off the interviewer's body language or facial expressions as much to determine when they are finished talking, being patient is important. Once the interviewer is finished asking the question, be sure to give short focused answers.

    Answering questions

    One advantage of a virtual interview is you can have notes in front of you for reference. Consider having your resume with you. Maybe you prepared for the interview using the STAR method and have plenty of stories and examples to share. Keep these notes near you to remind you of what you really want to share with the interviewer.

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