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How to Succeed in a Video or Phone Interview

Smile as you speak, record a mock interview and make a backup plan for signal problems. Perfecting your phone and video interview technique might seem like an uphill struggle but preparation can make all the difference. 

Here is a guide on some of the ways that will help you to succeed in a video or phone interview.

Dress and act how you would in a face-to-face interview

A common mistake for phone and video interviews is to approach the situation more casually because it’s not in person.

In fact you need to be your professional best in every way. To do this, dress in business attire and speak clearly, this will ensure your body language and delivery are both professional.

Likewise, do not skimp on preparation, be prepared and confident – behave like a person that would be a good fit for the position.

Have a backup plan in case you have signal problems

There are a variety of sounds that can disrupt a phone or Skype interview, such as background noise, TV, children or a poor signal. Try to find somewhere quiet and use a land line whenever possible. If your call is interrupted, then acknowledge this and ask the interviewer if you can repeat your answer or reschedule the call.

If you know your area has a poor signal, go somewhere else for your interview. Ask a friend, or look to see if any local hotels, libraries or schools have a video conferencing facility they might let you use. 

Do a mock video or phone interview

Performing well on a video or phone interview requires a particular set of skills. Appearing on screen can feel awkward, so if you don’t regularly use Skype then have a few practice runs with friends to get used to it. Record the session and watch it – so you get used to speaking on camera.

Similarly, during a telephone interview it can be tricky to show the usual body language that indicates you are interested, make sure you convey this by smiling while you speak, and use what you say to appear attentive and enthusiastic.

Allow time to set up your phone or webcam

Skype and video calls can take a few minutes to set up, so you need to build in extra time. Ideally be in your interview space at least five minutes ahead and have your phone or webcam on and ready to go.

Don’t over-prepare, and be yourself

It’s definitely a good idea to prepare answers to potential questions but make sure you don’t sound like you are reading from a prepared script. It is best to have a few bullet points to hand so you remember the points you want to make, but still sound natural and enthusiastic.

Show you are a good cultural fit for the company

The key thing you need to show – apart from your competency and skills – is that you are a good cultural fit for the organization you are interviewing for. This can be pretty difficult to do during a phone or Skype interview, but the best advice is to be natural and try to turn the interview into a conversation.

Speak slowly and clearly thoughout the interview

If you’re nervous, it’s easy to speak too quickly on the phone. This can be a problem as the interviewer can’t see you to pick up on any visual cues so may miss your point. Be aware of this and articulate your words clearly – this is particularly important if you have a strong accent.

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