Phone and video interviews may not bring on the anxiety of an in-person interview, but they are still important interviews, which will affect your candidacy. Technology is a different medium for the interview, so it requires different preparation.

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Phone Interviews
Preparation
  • Select a quiet place where you won't be interrupted.

  • If possible, use a landline. If one is not available, be sure your cell phone is charged and has good reception. Ask for the interviewer's phone number in case you get disconnected.

  • If you can, turn off call waiting so you won't get distracted by the beep associated with an incoming call.

  • Have the following paperwork at your fingertips:

    • The job posting​

    • The resume and cover letter you sent

    • Your written questions

    • Your list of accomplishments as they relate to the job requirements

    • Highlights you wrote down from the organization's website

  • Have the organization's website open for quick reference if needed.

  • Have a glass of water handy in case talking makes you parched.

During the Interview
  • Stand up while talking as your voice projection will be enhanced, making you sound more confident.

  • The major downside of a phone interview is that you don't see the interviewer and are relying solely on what you hear. Therefore, it is appropriate for you to ask for a question to be repeated if it wasn't clear. It's also okay to ask if your response answered the question if you don't receive a reply. (After all, you can't hear someone nodding in approval over the phone.)

After the Interview

As with all interviews, be sure to send a "Thank You" note to the interviewer.

Video Interviews

Video interviews are becoming​ more prevalent. They are primarily used for out-of-state candidates, as organizations prefer to avoid incurring travel expenses until they are confident about a final candidate. However, more organizations are beginning to utilize video recordings as a part of their vetting process as well, to help narrow their pool of applicants. While you need to follow most of the suggestions noted on the Interview Skills & Etiquette page, here are some additional considerations for video:

Preparation
  • If possible, request to connect a brief time before the interview is scheduled to ensure connectivity between your computers.

  • Be sure to trade phone numbers as a backup option. Have your phone charged and available, but put it on silent.

  • Confirm time zones as video calls commonly occur with out-of-state candidates.

  • Practice by doing a mock interview with a friend, and ask for feedback about the video quality based on placement, lighting, etc.

  • Plan to wear a solid colored dress shirt or blouse, as these look better via video than something with a busy pattern. If this job is at the senior level, you may want to plan on business dress and put on a jacket or blazer.

  • Choose a location in advance where you will conduct your video call.

    • Choose a place where the lighting is good, but not too bright. The best lighting is usually in front of you. The goal is to look natural over video.​
    • Be sure that your location will be quiet, and free of interruptions.

 

  • Be sure the webcam on your computer is at eye level, otherwise it will appear that you are looking down during the interview.

  • Also make sure that you are close enough to the computer for the interviewer to clearly see your shoulders and face.

  • Close other programs on your computer so notifications don't disrupt the interview.

During the Interview
  • Sit up straight and don't slouch.

  • Remember that electronic communication is transmitted more slowly than face-to-face communication. Practice effective "speak and wait" pacing. Give the other person time to respond to your comments, and wait to begin answering a question until the person finishes asking it.

  • As connectivity is always a concern, be sure that you ask for a question to be repeated if you didn't hear it clearly. Don't be surprised if the interviewers ask you to repeat your answer.

  • If the scheduled call didn't leave time for your questions, it is appropriate to state that you have additional questions and see how the interviewer wants to move forward.

After the Interview
  • Sending an emailed "Thank You" note is probably best in this case.

  • Don't be surprised if the hiring manager or other interviewers schedule subsequent video interviews. They are just making sure that you are a strong candidate before arranging an in-person interview.