As technology has advanced, it is now more common for employers to conduct phone or Internet interviews in the screening stage of their process. As it may be more convenient not to travel somewhere, these types of interviews can be difficult because you will receive little or no nonverbal feedback (e.g., head shaking, smiling) as you answer questions.
Check (and double check) your technology – Make sure that your devices connect and are charged. Disable other tech functions so that you don’t have emails, other pop-ups, or notifications interrupting your train of thought.
Have a quiet, clean space – Environment is key to staying in the right state of mind, so make sure there are no distractions (including pets). Also, make sure that there is nothing inappropriate in the line of vision if you have a Skype/video interview – sit somewhere with a bare wall behind you.
Research and prep a cheat sheet – Complete research about the company to learn about any relevant philosophies or news as well as think about how you can contribute. Practice your answers to potential interview questions with examples that you can clearly reference and articulate. Write all of this down on your ‘cheat sheet.’
Have job related materials in front of you – Have your resume, cover letter, job description, company information, and cheat sheet of prompts (questions that you want to ask or that are asked of you).
Organize/block your time prior – Just like you would schedule out time to travel to and be ready for a face to face interview, you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind prior. Make sure that you are well rested and ready to go. This may include staying productive before the interview (warming up your brain), eating so you’re not light headed, and talking to others (to warm up your vocal cords). While you have a set time to interview, the interviewer might contact you a few minutes early or a few minutes late.
Take notes – Make sure that you write down things you learn about the company or job hiring process.
Have good body language – Your body language affects your tone and conveys a certain attitude. Make sure that you smile and sit at a table or desk, or stand.
Pace yourself – Don’t worry about pauses, your interviewer may be taking notes. Also, don’t dominate the conversation.
Focus on your language/tone – Think about key words or phrases that may be important for this position, company, or industry. Also, think about an appropriate level of energy and volume.
Don't multitask - Whether you are visible (such as video chat or Skype) or on the phone, do NOT multitask. If your concentration is not fully on the interview, the interviewer will be able to hear it in your voice. By focusing on only this, you are less likely to misspeak and more likely to recall great examples and details.
Overall, make sure that you take this interview as seriously as you would an in person interview.
To practice interview skills, make an appointment with our Johnson Career Center.