Many human resources managers will tell you that doing initial job interviews by phone or online can save lots of time and money. Potential candidates can be screened quickly and employees involved with the interviews are able to spend less time pulled away from other job responsibilities (translating to less lost productivity).
If you are in the midst of or are considering a job search, don’t miss these 7 Tips to Ace The Job Interview by Phone or Online. They will help you tremendously in preparing for the interview.
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1. Find a quiet room, as little background noise as possible, for taking part in the interview. It is amazing how sounds get magnified over the phone or online. Barking dogs, giggling kids, and television shows can be heard more easily by others over these communications devices.
Also, make sure that you are not taking part in a job interview while driving. Not only is it dangerous, the road noise is very distinctive.
2. For an online job interview, ensure that you have an appropriate background behind you. Set up your webcam so that you have a light, neutral-colored wall or backdrop behind you. Avoid setting up where people will be walking behind you or interviewers will see a pile of laundry in the background.
Also, consider your camera angle. You want the camera to be even with or slightly above your face, never below. Anybody who has ever done FaceTime or Skype with an iPad or cellphone in your lap, can tell you what an unflattering shot you get looking up at your chin.
If you are using a cellphone or other mobile video device, invest in a table top tripod or stand so that you can keep the video image steady and at a flattering angle. The EverywhereFocus(TM) Cell Phone Holder For Desk, Flexible 360° is a good example of such a stand.
3. For both phone and digital interviews, dress for success. Just as for an in person interview, wearing professional clothing is important. For a phone interview, it will help boost your confidence. For video, it will speak volumes about how seriously you are taking the process.
Unlike the in person interview though, for online video chat, you may wish to consider a nod to colors that look best on camera without straying too far outside the conservative box. For example, black or solid white often make people look washed out on camera. Blue may well be a better option. Avoid busy prints and stripes and keep the jewelry to a minimum.
4. Lose the gum. If you are one of those people who live with chewing gum in your mouth, take a break during your interview. The inevitable smacking is not fun to listen to over the phone or online and certainly will not be appreciated during a video interview.
5. Take a practice run and prep like you would for a face-to-face interview. Do a mock interview with a friend over the phone or online. Pick a friend who will be constructively honest with you about your strengths and weaknesses during practice so that you can make improvements where needed. Get the mock interviewer to give you a range of commonly asked questions, as well as a few doozies to see how you do. My post Five Common Job Interview Questions and Alison Doyle’s Top 50 Job Interview Questions will help you out.
For online interviews, double check your lighting and backgrounds to ensure that the best image is projected.
6. Use your smile as your handshake for your phone and online interviews. Research suggests that even during a phone interview, when you smile while talking your voice sounds more upbeat and energetic. On video, when your first meet the interviewers, your smile will make you seem more approachable and friendly. A
7. Remember what you have practiced and answer questions sincerely. Get the names and a mailing addresses for those interviewing you as things wrap up. Be sure and put a thank you note(s) in the mail to the interviewers within the next 24 hours.
For More Job Interview and Job Search Tips: