News Article

JOB INTERVIEW TIPS-Phone & video interviews

Posted 1st May 2020 • Written by People First •

Phone & video interviews

Until things change we’ll all have to get used to doing more interviews by phone, Skype, WeChat, etc.

Here’s how to succeed: 

1.Dress the Part

Even if it’s on the phone and the interviewer can’t see you, dress as if you are going to a face to face interview – it will boost your confidence but also keep you focused and remind you that you’re talking to an interviewer and not to your friend!

Don’t wear your PJ’s - if you feel casual you’ll sound casual.


2. Prepare your interview area

Make sure that during the call you are not going to be interrupted, that no one can listen in on you (and make you self conscious) and ensure it’s quiet.

Whether your call is video or telephone, do it in a quiet, business-like setting, ideally in a room with a door you can close.

Before the virus the advice was don’t do it in a coffee shop! Now, don’t do it in your kitchen while you, or someone else is making coffee or a room with Netflix on (I know it sounds ridiculous but I’ve spoken to plenty of candidates while they’ve been preparing a meal!) 

If you’re on video make sure that what the other person can see behind you is not going to create a bad impression (remove your drying underwear, take down your One Direction poster, put the cat in another room,…)


3. Prepare your equipment

By Phone – If you’re on your mobile, ensure it is fully charged and you have good reception.

By Video - If it’s your first video call you are bound to feel awkward as you figure out where to look, what to do with your hands, or how loudly to speak, so practice first before the big day!

And make sure you have the right app downloaded with log in details to share, etc.


4. Remember the 3 Cs – ensure you speak Clearly, Concisely and Confidently 

Start professionally – “Good morning/afternoon Maya/Ivy speaking”, even if you’re unsure about the efficiency of the equipment you’re using, sound confident. 

Even on the phone SMILE when you talk as this naturally makes you sound friendly and enthusiastic.

At a face to face interview, you’d naturally smile upon arrival, so do the same on the phone or video. 

If it’s on the phone stand up if you can as this will make you feel assertive (even if you don’t) 

One problem with phone interviews is you can’t see the recruiter’s face so you can’t gauge what they’re thinking. Whatever you do don’t waffle - listen to the question and answer only that question; don’t fall into the trap of talking and talking and talking just because you can’t see what they’re doing and how they’re responding. 

Heard of active listening? Especially with a phone interview, it’s important to give the other caller periodic clues that you’re still there ‘Hmmm,’, ‘Yes’, ‘Okay’, ‘I see’, etc.. Then they know you’re listening and you can still see/hear them. 

If the interviewer is late (and they do forget sometimes!) wait five minutes then contact People First and we’ll find out what’s happened.


In conclusion

As with all interviews, the interviewer will be a little nervous too, even more if it’s on the phone/ video because they are hoping the signal is good, the same as you are!

Remember, they want to talk to you and find out more about you for a reason, because they like your CV and they hope you’re going to be ‘the one’. Be great!

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK