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Your Future is Calling: Phone and Video Interview Tips

 

By Mark McKown, AgCareers.com Marketing Intern

       In this ever modernizing world, technology always seems to influence every decision worth making. This is especially true in the work world. It’s not too hard to find a QR code, new app for the tablet/phone, or some other incorporation of technology. Human Resource professionals are now looking to modernize their practices in searching for and delivering the best recruits. There are numerous HR and recruiting officers using social media or other online resources to attract candidates to their company. This rings true for interviews as well.

       It is not uncommon these days to hear about someone having a Skype (video) or phone interview rather than the traditional face-to-face interview. When thinking about being the interviewing via video or phone interview, would preparation differ? Would there be a high level of comfort? Many people answer no. This mode of interviewing is somewhat new and there is important etiquette associated with a successful interview to set yourself apart from the competition.

       Between phone and video interviews there are some different approaches to having a successful meeting with a potential employer. Separated below are tips to consider when preparing for and participating in a video or phone interview.

PHONE:
       There is a lot to take into account before a phone interview. Not only is there no dress code, but there is no travel time either! All is good, right? Yes, but other areas of the interview must be addressed as well. Here are five steps to making sure a phone interview doesn’t leave the employer on hold.

  • Prepare! - Phone interviews provide you the ability to be ultra-prepared, and you should be. Take notes on what you want to mention about your resume. Write questions to ask at the end of the interview. You should never go blank. However, be aware that you do not want to sound like you are ‘reading’ responses. To avoid this situation, simply create bullet points rather than complete responses. Be sure to have your resume, position description, and questions to ask set out prior to the call.
  • Pick a Location- – Find a space adequate to answer the phone. Make sure the space is quiet and undisturbed. Allow for room to pace around, if nervous, or something to stay seated for the proper interview mindset.
  • Practice- Ask friends or family to simulate the interview to help gain more experience talking on the phone. Things to be aware of: talking too fast, talking too slow, enunciation, and addressing the major areas of concern and areas of success from past experiences/education.
  • Stay Confident- Have a strong presence of confidence during the call. Answer the phone early to show preparedness, greet the interviewer politely and express your appreciation of consideration. Stick to your plan of attack and lead the employer to having no other choice but to hire you! Of course thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Relax - The entirety of the interview is based on what you have already completed and expressed on your resume and/or cover letter. Nothing asked is going to be unanswerable. Stay true to your personality and what will be exhibited on the job site. Originality is recognizable among interviewers.

VIDEO: 
      The ever elusive video interview is very new. The entirety of the interview is conducted via Skype or some other form of video connection. One thing to keep in mind is that this is still a real interview. There is a lot at hand and can be concerning. Hopefully these few steps can help put you in the spotlight. 

 

  • Appearance - As mentioned before, this is a real interview! Dress as professional as you would for a face to face interview. The typical rule of thumb is to dress nicer than you would daily for the position. In example, if it is a labor position, dress in business casual. If it is for an office position, be on the safe side and dress formal (suit).
  • Preparation- Still identify the various parts of successful preparation like you would for any interview. Don’t have your notes within camera view!
  • Location- This is one of the most important steps in the video interview. The backdrop of the interview reflects the applicant. Do not sit on the couch and throw the laptop up on your lap for the interview. It is best to be seated at a nice table with little in the background. A cluttered camera view would be disturbing to the interviewer and take away attention of what is really important, your responses.
  • Sincerity- With a video interview there is a lot more ability to display personality traits. Make sure to keep responses sincere. This will show the employer the meaningfulness of receiving the position as well as an ability to be easily approached with various job responsibilities and projects.
  • Again, Relax- Interviews are all about the applicant. Through a video interview the applicant can be very defined and unique through their appearance, location, and preparedness. Distinguishing personal traits should not only impress the employer, but also support a calm and relaxed interview.

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