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Phone and Video Interview Tips for Entering the Job Market

Phone and Video Interview Tips for Entering the Job Market

Be ready for your phone or video interview

 

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Jobs of all kinds have been affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many people, including recent college graduates, looking for employment. For the safety of everyone, many job interviews are not being done in person and are instead being done over the phone or over video. Here are some tips to nail the interview.

Take time to schedule

Take time to schedule

 

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Before your interview, make sure the scheduling details are clear for both parties. Ask who will be calling first so there is no confusion between you and the employer. Know when and through what application or site you will be doing a video interview.

Charge device

Charge device

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Make sure that your device is charged in advance before your interview is scheduled. You do not want your device to run out of power in the middle of your interview, leaving you looking unprepared and ruining the flow of the discussion.

Choose an appropriate background

Choose an appropriate background

 

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It’s best to avoid creating any distractions for the person interviewing you during the video call. If possible, position your device so that there is a blank wall behind you. If that is not possible, consider sitting in front of a bookshelf or another semi-professional setting. 

Use the device you’re comfortable with

Use the device you’re comfortable with

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If a video interview is scheduled, be sure to prepare your computer in advance and make sure you’re comfortable with the technology. If you are more comfortable using a tablet or phone, confirm that the video conferencing app is compatible with your device and set it up in advance.

Check audio

Check audio

 

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Test your audio beforehand to make sure you can be heard clearly, avoiding any potentially embarrassing or awkward moments. Making sure that your equipment works is an important part of virtual etiquette

Test webcam

Test webcam

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The point of a video interview is so that you can be seen. If the webcam on your device is not working, you will not be seen during your interview, potentially hurting your chances of getting the job. Test your webcam in advance to make sure it is working properly. 

Check internet connection

Check internet connection

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Video interviews require an internet connection, so make sure your connection is working properly before your interview is scheduled to start. 

Use appropriate lighting

Use appropriate lighting

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Be sure to sit in a room or area that has good lighting so you do not look washed out or too dark. You want the employer to see you clearly. To do this, make sure you are facing the light source, whether that's a lamp or a window. Don’t sit in front of an open window or directly in front of a lamp. That positioning will cause you to be in the shadows. 

Dress appropriately

Dress appropriately

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Although you are not in person, you still should dress for a video interview the same way you would for an in-person interview. Try to avoid wearing bright or distracting colors. This isn’t the time to ditch fashion rules

Find your correct position

Find your correct position

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Body language is a huge part of a video interview. Make sure that you are sitting up straight during the entire interview. Try to maintain the illusion of eye contact by looking at the webcam and not at the image or yourself on the computer screen. Try not to slouch, fidget or yawn during the call because that can be a distraction for you and the employer.  

Eliminate background noise

Eliminate background noise

 

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Turn off the television and silence your phone before getting on the call so they do not cause distractions. Make sure your pet is under control to avoid any interruptions. If you live with other people, let them know when and where your interview is so they do not disturb you.

Try standing

Try standing

 

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If you’re doing a phone interview, try standing — it can change your breathing and help you to sound more confident, which is important considering the employer will not be able to see you. 

Speak clearly into the phone

Speak clearly into the phone

 

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Be sure to speak clearly and directly into your phone so that the person interviewing you can understand everything you say. Speaking clearly and directly is an important part of office etiquette as well

Don’t eat or drink

Don’t eat or drink

 

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Avoid eating, drinking or chewing gum during the interview. Even if you’re just on the phone and won’t be seen, you will likely still be heard, potentially creating a distraction. Plus, it’s just bad phone etiquette.

Prepare a ‘cheat sheet’

Prepare a ‘cheat sheet’

 

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Prepare for your phone interview in advance by creating a “cheat sheet” that you can refer to for answers to potential questions, information about the company and a list of questions you may have at the end of the interview. 

Take notes

Take notes

 

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Keep up with keywords you hear so you can bring them up in a later answer. Take note of how you have answered the questions and important information you are given about the employer. 

Have your resume

Have your resume

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Have access to your resume while you are on your call so you can refer to it if you are asked about previous experiences and skills. This will help you answer the questions promptly. And if you’re having trouble landing interviews, try improving your resume with these skills you can build at home

Don’t talk too much

Don’t talk too much

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Keep up your end of the conversation and answer questions in full, but don’t ramble. Be concise when answering questions. Even though you will be doing most of the talking, you do not want to come across as disrespectful. 

Ask follow up questions

Ask follow up questions

 

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Follow-up questions are good during any interview, especially if you are trying to re-enter the workforce. They show your interest in the job and that you are willing to learn more. 

Have a calendar

Have a calendar

 

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Having a calendar on hand may be helpful just in case you’re asked to schedule a follow-up interview. You do not want to scramble to find something to write information down on while on the call, and having a calendar will help you see your own availability. Before your next interview, make sure to also clean up any red flags on your resume.

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