Have you ever been on a phone interview and dropped the call? Learn how to shine in a phone or video interview so you can get that in-person meeting.
- There's a good chance at least half of the interviews you have will be on the phone or video, or a combination of the two. This is usually before you go in person, but sometimes even after. Nailing these remote interviews is a skill you can learn with some practice, and I do suggest you practice with another job hunting friend or a trusted mentor. So first, tech basics. Make sure your land or cell line is in good working order, with strong reception wherever you're going to take the interview. Coffee shops or co-working spaces aren't ideal for this, quiet places are.
Similarly, trial run your computer on Skype or Hangouts, or whatever the conferencing platform the interview will take place in. Don't let a last minute need-to-run plugin error derail you showing up on time. And I think it goes without saying, but make sure you're ready five minutes before, and willing to wait five to 10 minutes after the start time. Remember, a lot of times interviewers are running from place to place, so they may have time variance. You'll need to accommodate. If you're going to be visible, arrange a professional background.
Simple art or an uncluttered office with natural light are really best here. Avoid busy backgrounds that could distract your interviewer, and make sure nothing inappropriate is showing up on frame. If your gardener is coming that day, make sure to avoid that time, or do a reschedule for when they mow the lawn. Nothing annoys an interviewer more than not being able to understand you. Those are the basics, but let's take it to the next level. The key to acing these interviews is to come across as friendly, calm, and approachable in this, the most nerve-wracking of professional exercises.
So here are a few tips. First, smile while you talk. It sounds funny and takes some practice, but if you're smiling while you converse, you're going to sound like a happy conversationalist, not a nervous interviewee. You also want to pass what I call the airport test. Through humor, rapport building, and conversation, come across as someone that would be interesting to be stuck in an airport with on a business trip. It's actually likely this may happen at some point with this company, so you've got to turn on the personality. Be you, be genuine, be real.
Interviewers don't love nervous candidates. They like real people they can see themselves having a drink with. Finally, predetermine a few key points you want to get across with each person you talk with, relative to their role and to your potential role. Choose stories and anecdotes that help you make those points. Maybe you want them to remember you as efficient, and yet loved by customers in the call center. So have a few two-sentence stories that illustrate your best customer calls. It's harder to brand yourself has a standout on phone or video, so that's why intention becomes so important.
Know where you want to lead the questions, and how you want to be remembered. And don't forget to send an email, handwritten or LinkedIn InMail thanks after all those interviews. All interviews require thank you notes. Good luck.
- Setting job hunting objectives
- Writing a compelling resume and cover letter
- Tailoring your approach
- Finding the right jobs
- Reentering the workforce
- Identifying which of your skills are transferable
- Excelling in a phone or video interview
- Negotiating a job offer