7 Tips for Performing Well During Video and Phone Interviews, Plus More

Updated on September 18, 2018
Tim Truzy info4u profile image

Tim Truzy is a rehabilitation counselor, educator, and former dispatcher from North Carolina.

Waiting for the phone to ring about a job can be an anxiety creating event.
Waiting for the phone to ring about a job can be an anxiety creating event. | Source

Why do Employers Bother with Phone or Video Interviews?

In today’s competitive job market, often interviews are conducted on the phone or through video contact. Usually, these interviews are carried out by recruiters or human resource personnel. These representatives have several objectives in mind. They want to be to the point, homing in on six to ten questions. For this reason, these contacts are short comparable to a face-to-face meeting.

Although such brief interactions with potential employers can make you anxious, there are steps you can take to be successful. Knowing what the employer is seeking in a candidate when conducting a phone interview can be the difference between landing a job and continuing to search for one. Likewise, understanding the purposes of these short interviews will better help you prepare. Essentially, the phone interview, or “phone screen,” is just that.

In fact, the employer is striving to systematically eliminate candidates from the enormous number of prospects available for the position. Also, time is saved when conducting interviews this way. Bringing together managers and others for interviews takes such personnel away from the normal functions of the organization. In other words, money is not wasted on poor candidates when interviews are done via phone or video.


Which one of these interview situations causes the most anxiety for you?

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If you perform poorly when contacted by employers, your opportunity to become hired is dead at the gate.
If you perform poorly when contacted by employers, your opportunity to become hired is dead at the gate. | Source

What does the interviewer expect from you during a phone or video interview?

As a rehabilitation counselor, I’ve helped clients prepare to be the best possible applicant for such positions. This included preparing for all types of interviews, including those done with telecommunication devices. Truthfully, approximately a thousand resumes are received for any position at big companies according to some research. About 15% of these candidates will be considered for a phone or video interview. These interviews are normally the first round before meeting with the employer face-to-face. Incidentally, this type of interview is a way of “securing the gate.” Therefore, knowing what the interviewer is looking for can make a difference between moving to the next round or sending you searching at another employer. Here are four important areas the interviewer is scrutinizing during the interview:

  1. Primarily, the interviewer wants to know if you will be a proper “fit” for the culture of the work place. (How do you respond to stress on the job? Does an increased pace of production impact your performance? How do you feel about working on weekends?)
  2. The interviewer is examining your level of interest. Are you serious about working for the organization? Are you simply practicing for upcoming interviews with other companies? In definite but polite terms, confirm your interest in the vacancy.
  3. Next, the interviewer will be interested in knowing about your skills and abilities relevant to the job. The interviewer is not necessarily looking for details, but he/she wants to know if information on your resume is correct. This includes education and work experience. Basically, are you qualified for the position you applied for within the organization?
  4. Finally, the company representative is gauging your ability to communicate effectively. Do you answer in complete sentences? Are you rude with your responses? Do your answers demonstrate thoughtful reflection?

Do not recline on the couch with your cell phone when participating in a video or phone interview.
Do not recline on the couch with your cell phone when participating in a video or phone interview. | Source

Seven Tips for Performing Well During Phone and Video Interviews

Below I’ve provided some good tips to follow when you must use telecommunication devices for interviews. Try to practice them before you apply for jobs in order to be ready if contacted. These steps have benefited clients of mine over the years:

  • Don’t become distracted – Avoid doing chores around your house while talking with the interviewer on the phone. Don't let others interrupt the interview. Also, maintain positive eye contact with the interviewer while he/she is on your computer screen. Don’t check your latest social media posts or emails during these times.
  • Use good posture – Many times, people may relax while on the phone. This influences the way in which the voice may sound. In a video interview, reclining casually in a chair may not communicate your enthusiasm for the vacancy while you are talking with the employer.

  • Avoid reading from prepared texts – At the point of the pone or video interview, you should have conducted research about the firm, memorized highlights of your work and educational background, and be able to speak about these topics with confidence. If a representative of an organization should contact you before you have taken these steps, politely request to reschedule.
  • Know when to state an opinion - If something appears positive within the course of the interview, acknowledge it. If a particular subject is mentioned which does not seem to appear positive, keep it in mind; but withhold your opinion during the interview. If you make it to the in-person phase of the interview process, you can seek clarification on such details.
  • Practice – Have a friend or relative pretend to be an interviewer using a phone and/or video connection. Get honest feedback on your performance from this individual who you trust.

  • Make sure your internet and/or phone connection is reliable – Signals from cell phones can become distorted. Video feeds can fade out, causing the interviewer to question your dependability.
  • Have respectful questions prepared - Ask well thought out questions. Be courteous. This is your opportunity to demonstrate you have done some preliminary research on the job and the company.


During a video or phone interview, how would you answer the question: Tell me about yourself?

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Remember to dress appropriately when participating in a video interview.
Remember to dress appropriately when participating in a video interview. | Source

Don't Hang up yet.

In conclusion, realize your main focus is to move forward in the interview process. Understand the interviewer is searching for any reason to disqualify you for the vacancy. For instance, discussing pay should not be brought up during video or phone contacts of this kind. In addition, look well-groomed and attentive when speaking with a representative of a company via video. After all, you have one chance to convey the impression you want to communicate.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Submit a Comment
  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    8 months ago from U.S.A.

    You are right, Tamara. That's why I mentioned the important point of businesses which do use these approaches is to not waste money on candidates who are not suited for the company or qualified for the position.

    I do appreciate your comment and thanks for the visit. To a talented, creative, and thoughtful author, I wish you a pleasant and rewarding week.



  • tamarawilhite profile image

    Tamara Wilhite 

    8 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    Video and phone interviews are popular because they are CHEAP compared to flying someone out or asking them to drive in for an interview.

  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    8 months ago from U.S.A.

    A friend of mine recently was hired at a telecommunications giant. She used some of these tips in her video interview. She said they helped her a lot.

    My hope is that others will benefit as well.

    Thanks for reading.



  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    10 months ago from U.S.A.

    Thanks, Nell,

    Your comment means much to me. Face-to-face interviews can be challenging, but from your writings I can tell you were probably very persuasive and convincing. I appreciate your recognition of the value of these tips

    To a talented, informative, and intelligent writer,

    Much respect and may your day be peaceful.


  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    10 months ago from England

    I was really lucky with interviews, most of the time I was temping there so they knew me, but boy those face to face ones when you don't know them! great advice

  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    12 months ago from U.S.A.

    Thanks, Pam,

    The job market is getting more and more competitive, and contrary to some beliefs, it's still difficult to find work for some people.

    Truthfully, all of my interviews have always been face-to-face. But I've been on the hiring side of things. I conducted phone interviews with people we hired at a transportation company. This gave me a good feel of what employers really wanted.

    I hope this helps many people.

    As always, your comment is greatly appreciated.

    Now, Florence is saying farewell; maybe life can get back to normal here.

    Much respect and admiration,



  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    12 months ago from U.S.A.

    Thanks, Sean,

    Looking for work can be challenging and I hope this helps some people. Phone and video interviews seem to be a big part of what companies are doing now for the interview process.

    Thanks for your kind comment.

    Much respect and admiration,



  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    12 months ago from Sunny Florida

    As I am retired I never had a phone or video interview as I always had a face to face. I think you presented a lot of good information for anyone still in the job market.

  • Sean Dragon profile image

    Ioannis Arvanitis 

    12 months ago from Greece, Almyros

    Another great Hub to serve the people we need these tips. Great job my dear brother! I am proud of your serving Heart!



  • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

    Tim Truzy 

    12 months ago from U.S.A.

    Thanks, Eric.

    These tips would probably help those applying for part-time jobs, too. Many new jobs fall in that category. In fact, two weeks ago I worked with a man who had to prepare for a part-time job and he was going to be hired by the city. He got the job. That was great news.

    We are dealing with Florence down here, but I'm glad you took some of your very valuable time to read this.

    I have read enough of your work to know, everyday, Eric is reaching out, helping people in your community.

    Much gratitude to people like you.

    I'm getting ready to pay your writings a visit, if Florence doesn't turn off the power here.

    Much respect and admiration,



  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Very cool - I have no intention of interviewing - but these are great life tips.


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