During the application process, a job seeker may go through more than one set of interviews. When multiple interviews are used, the first is often a preliminary “screening” interview.
Huge amounts of business are done via telephone and Internet every day in our hyper-connected digital world, and interviews are no exception. Even if you’re not interviewing long-distance with a firm, a preliminary screening interview might take place over phone or via Skype.
If you’re aiming to ace your Skype or telephone interview, here are a few tips. Over both phone and Skype:
- Be prepared. Prepare for your Skype or telephone interview as thoroughly as you would for a face to face interview. Don’t wing it – interviewers can tell even over the telephone if you’re not ready.
- Ask about the next phase. Ask the interviewer what the next interview phase will involve and when you can expect to hear back from them.
- Request contact information. Ask for the interviewer’s phone number or email address so you can send follow-up questions or information.
Over the phone:
- Prepare your location. Use a landline phone if possible, and choose a quiet area free of distractions.
- Consider your background. Common questions in telephone interviews focus on your experience and background. You may want to prepare concise descriptions of certain positions you’ve held or projects you’ve worked on, so you’re ready to answer these questions.
- Check your equipment. Test your video and audio connections thoroughly before your interview. Give yourself enough time to get repairs made, to get working equipment, or to arrange for a different interview method if needed.
- Review your attire and background. The interviewer can see not only you, but some of the room behind you. Make sure you’re dressed professionally and that your background is neutral. Set up in a quiet area with little traffic.
- Note your body language. Pay attention to how you’re sitting, and maintain eye contact with the interviewers. An alert posture and consistent eye contact convey interest and enthusiasm in the interview and the position.
- Speak clearly and slowly. Voice over IP loses a few of the nuances of speaking, so take care to speak clearly and slowly – but don’t slow things down so much you lose that “spark” of interest in your voice. It’s important to be understood, but it’s equally important to express your enthusiasm for the job ahead.