The importance of phone and Skype interviews has skyrocketed in recent years. Most companies like to verify that a candidate is worth their time before bringing them to the office for an in-person interview. Phone and Skype interviews are popular with entry-level job candidates because many of them are still in school or currently employed—making it difficult to slip away for an interview.
Amy Levin-Epstein spoke with professionals and compiled a list of tips on how to ace both the phone and Skype interview.
Here are a few of the tips I found most important.
- Avoid technical difficulties. Triple check your Internet connection before your interview begins. Make sure that your speakers and microphone work. Call a friend on Skype and do a sound check.
- Know proper web cam etiquette. Look at the camera and not the screen so that you are making eye contact. Sit up straight and don’t sit too close to the camera. Use the camera to check out what you look like on screen before the call so you see how they’ll view you.
- Stand up and smile. According to career trainer Frankie Picasso, “When you stand up, there is more energy in your voice and the physical act of smiling makes you instantly sound friendlier and relaxed.” Personally, I like to pace slowly when I talk on the phone and I feel it gives me a more natural and confident tone of voice.
- Don’t drive & interview. The best thing about a phone interview is that you can have your notes out in front of you. Take advantage of that! Also, you should be fully focused on the task at hand.
- Go hands-free. Use a headset so that you are free to take notes or gesture as normally would. This will help you sound more comfortable and natural when on the phone.
General Phone & Skype Tips
- Get rid of distractions. Make sure that you’re in a secure, quiet place. Make an announcement and put a sign on the door to let your family or roommates know you are not to bothered during that time.
- Don’t sound sleepy. Wake up an hour before your interview. People can tell if you just woke up and it sounds unprofessional. Call a friend and talk for a few minutes to get your voice ready.
- Be succinct. It’s hard to pick up on non-verbal cues in these situations. Don’t babble and stop yourself when you’ve answered the question completely.