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Top tips to ace phone and video interviews!

Top tips to ace phone and video interviews!

Now more than ever companies are using phone and video calls to conduct interviews. Both can be stressful and often harder than a face to face interview as you cannot see the person’s facial expression, or you are too focused on your own!

With that in mind I have utilised the knowledge within the Talentspot office to help you ace your virtual interviews.

  • Research the company and the interviewer

Before having your call, it's important to make sure that you have done your research on the company. Know what the company does, their culture, mission, values and the skills and experience they are looking for.

It is also extremely important to research the interviewer. This will assist you with figuring out the style of the interview. For example, if the interview is with a development manager it will most likely be both technical and behavioural questions. If it is with a Scrum Master, it will be heavily focused around the scrum methodology etc.

  • Communication

During any interview it is important to present yourself at your best. There are several verbal and (equally important) non-verbal ways of communicating, which will express your personality and enthusiasm for the role.

Body language is extremely important during any interview. Even on a phone call this still holds true. Sitting up straight or standing when answering questions will improve how well you project your voice and will help reduce any mumbling. Also, by smiling you will allow your voice to sound positive and enthusiastic.

When on a video call it’s important to sit up straight and look into the camera as much as possible. Avoid looking at your own video screen. This will give the impression that you are making eye contact.

Like any interview it is important to show active listening. Using nonverbal actions like nodding, eye contact, and leaning forward as well as brief verbal actions like “I see”, “yes”, “perfect”, “thank you” shows awareness of what is being said.

Paraphrasing the interviewer’s questions in your answers demonstrates that you’re listening and that you understand a point they made.

  • Dress Code

Looking professional is imperative. A lot of companies are moving away from the traditional attire to a more casual look. My personal advice is to stick with business casual. A note of warning, don’t get sucked into the trap of the old saying “the interviewer can only see what the camera sees”. Dress head to toe to avoid any complications.

  • Environment

Prior to a phone or video call, ensure that you are in a quiet room, this allows you to think clearly and will stop you from getting distracted and potentially missing a question or important point.

When having a video call, ensure that you have a blank wall behind you, avoiding the possibility of anyone walking into the video frame and will allow your interviewer to remain focused on you.

  • What to have with you.

Preparing for the interview is vital. Being able to remember every little detail of your preparation can prove to be challenging. Take advantage of a phone and video interview, prepare notes for yourself to reference during your conversation.

Have your CV, cover letter and the job description to hand. Sometimes even just seeing one word on your notes can jog your memory to an important point you may have otherwise overlooked. It will keep you on track and avoids rambling.

If you are having a video call, sometimes having a sticky note or two beside the camera with your key skills and achievements will be handy as it keeps your eyes focused around the camera area. Most people have two screens for work, it is imperative not to use the second screen for notes. Looking away from the camera when answering a question can show disinterest or that you need to look up an answer; this is a common reason why people have been unsuccessful on a video interview.

  • Examples and anecdotes of work

For any interview, it is important to have examples of your work. A good way to have very detailed answers is by using the STAR method. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. If you structure your experience in this way it will allow your answers to be clearer and focused on your involvement and contribution to the project.

  • Questions

Having specific questions about the company will show off the level of preparation you have done for the interview. Have 2 or 3 intelligent questions, around projects you will be working on, what will your first 3-6 months look like, and can they see any challenges for you within the role if you are successful. Steer clear of any question related to money or benefits.

Phone and video interviews are just as important as a face to face interview, so it is essential to prepare for them in the same way. Make the most of your phone or video interview, take advantage of your comfortable familiar home setting and the notes you have prepared to prompt you along the way.

If you have any questions on the above or would like to know more about Talentspot, then get in touch.