Top tips on handling phone and video interviews
Job seekers nowadays are likely to attend at least one if not two common remote job interviews. More and more HR managers use phone based and increasingly video chat based interviews each year. If you are about to attend a remote job interview, we have put together a number of solid techniques to help you negotiate your way to success.
- Download and Install The Software Ahead of Time – The interviewer will often email you instructions on the software to use and where to download it. Options vary from the popular Skype to the Apple own Facetime app and others. If download and configuration is required, do so well ahead of time. Avoid joining the interview late because this process took longer than you expected. Be sure to test the software once installation is complete, in particular check that the speaker and microphone are working.
- Time and Place – There are basic conditions that should be met to stage the right environment. You require a place with stable Internet connection, with enough light and with minimal background noise. An idle place is a boardroom, however most candidates haven’t free access to such area. If you choose the home environment, take the time to de-clutter the area behind you so it comes across respectable to the occasion.
- Have a Backup Device – Most video chat apps are cross device, meaning you can install the app on your PC, Laptop, Tablet and of course, Smartphone. It might prove handy to install the app on two devices should your default device crash for any reason.
- During The Video Chat – A common mistake candidate make is letting their eyes wonder off to other parts of the screen, away to the window, even to the ceiling. It means that you come across disinterested in what the interviewer has to say and maybe even in the position. Try and retain eye contact with the interviewer. As long as you look directly at the webcam, you are making eye contact. If you are looking at a large screen, say on your PC or Laptop, drag the chat window next to the webcam. Now when you look at the interviewer, you are looking at the webcam and therefore making eye contact.
- Dealing With Disconnections – It is possible that the interview will be cut short due to a technical problem. If that happens, allow the interviewer to establish connection. Check that your Internet is working and that your device has sufficient battery life. If the fault it at your end and you are unable to fix it, email the interviewer and suggest continuing the interview by phone. If you note the steps you have taken to resume the interview, you will come across as a proactive problem solver and recruiters like that in a candidate.
Phone Job Interview Tips
- Choose a Device – If possible, you should take the call using landline to avoid breakups and poor signal. If you still intent on using a mobile device, choose a location where you know that mobile reception is good.
- Source Location – Unlike video chat job interviews, lighting and background settings won’t matter much, but you should still aim to conduct the interview in a private and quiet area. Prepare a place to sit and have a copy of your CV handy.
- During The Interview – Answer the call by giving your name, for example, ‘Hi this is John West speaking’. During the interview avoid eating, smoking, but by all means have a cup of water ready in case your throat dries up. Don’t stop the interviewer mid sentence. If you have any questions, write them down. When you answer, speak slowly and clearly.
Do remember, these tips never replace old fashion job interview tips rather they work in conjunction with common practices. Always research the employer, the position and have questions ready when you are asked if you have any.
The Carling Partnership is the leading international search and selection company working exclusively within the brewing, distilling, cider and soft drinks industries. To find out more about jobs click here