So your resume is looking snazzy, you’ve put together a killer cover letter and you finally get a call back for an interview. Fantastic news! But what if the interview isn’t your stock standard, office based, face to face interview?
With communications technology developing at a rapid rate, and job seekers continuing to apply for positions interstate and overseas, it’s becoming more and more common for hiring managers to conduct first round interviews over the phone or Skype (or similar video conferencing software). Although the process isn’t much different, there are a few extra things you might want to consider to ensure that you’re sufficiently prepared to ace that interview!
1. Do your research –Just because it’s a phone or Skype interview, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be brief, so be prepared. Know the company, who you are speaking with, the details of the role you’ve applied for and have some of your own questions prepared.
2. Test your technology – If you’re not a regular user of Skype, it’s a great idea to do a test run with a friend or family member to ensure that your app is up to date and that you remember your login details! You don’t want to be late for your Skype interview because you had to request a password reset!
3. Presentation – Although you’re not presenting in person, it’s important to present yourself in the same way that you would for any other meeting. Refrain from wearing your Pyjama bottoms – I too, enjoy wearing my jimmy-jams at any possible opportunity, however dressing neatly and professionally will put you in the right frame of mind.
4. Body Language – Body language is incredibly important, not only in a face to face interview but also over Skype. You may only be partially visible (or not at all, over the phone), but your Interviewer will likely be able to sense if you’re fidgeting, slumping in your seat or fiddling with objects around you.
5. Tone of voice – Your words are all you have to rely on over the phone, so your tone and inflection is particularly important. Salespeople are often taught to smile when they’re making a call and this is a great tactic to take into consideration when you’re in a phone interview (selling yourself). It might feel silly but it will positively impact the inflection in your voice, it will lift your mood and you’re more likely to come across as an engaging and personable individual.
6. Watch your speed – Be conscious of the pace at which you are speaking. I find that my mind races when I’m nervous and the affect that this has in a phone interview could cost you an opportunity of a face to face meeting or a job offer.Remember that a moment silence is ok! It probably feels like a lifetime but, in reality, it’s probably only a matter of seconds. Take a breath, gather your thoughts and calm your nerves before continuing.
7. No distractions – Put your phone away and out of sight, ensure the TV is completely off, and sit in a quiet space without others coming in and out of the room. It doesn’t take much to get distracted and lose your train of thought.
With the right preparation, your initial phone or Skype interview can give you the opportunity to make a great first impression with your new employer and take you one step closer to securing an exciting new role.
By following the tips above, I hope you’ll feel more comfortable and better prepared the next time you’re invited to interview.