7 Tips for Performing Well During Video and Phone Interviews, Plus More
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?
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:
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
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?
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.