Telephone & Video Interview Guide
Since the start of the pandemic the popularity of telephone and video interviews has, for obvious reasons, sky-rocketed and looks set to continue.
Whilst the same basic principles of interviews still apply, there are certain other rules and guidelines that you need to be aware of.
Have your technology ready
Ensure you have everything set up and ready to go this can take longer than you might think so do this in good time.
Fully charge your phone or laptop and have chargers close to hand – some Apps can use a surprising amount of power
Install any apps or software you need and check they are working – some apps may need you to create an individual account for their service and again, this takes time. Make sure you have the invitation to join the virtual meeting if required
Take ten minutes to get familiar with new software if you haven’t used it before. Look through the settings and ensure you are comfortable with how it works
Test for audio and video quality beforehand. A run-through with someone prior to the interview will make things easier when you come to the live event
Make sure you have a good Wi-Fi, internet connection or mobile signal connection
Consider where you will be positioned when conducting the interview. You want to be comfortable and without distraction.
Find somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed - tell other people that you are off-limits and to keep the noise down
Your background should be as plain and uncluttered as possible. It should be well-lit but avoid sitting with a window behind you as this will just make you into a silhouette
If you’re using your phone or tablet, set it up on a stable platform and avoid going hand-held - test the video and the camera angle prior to the interview
Video interview software
There are a few different options when it comes to video interviewing and your interviewer or recruitment agency will let you know which one you will be using and how you will be invited to join.
Some common software includes:
Microsoft Teams - part of Microsoft Office and widely used across many organisations but you don’t need an Office 365 account - you’ll get an invite via email and can join as a guest
Zoom - a real-time messaging and video conferencing app similar to Teams where you can sign up for free or join via an email invitation
WhatsApp – Most commonly used on smartphones, supports chats and video calls where you just need a phone number to set it up – also available as a desktop app
Skype – One of the most well know internet calling apps. You can log in using your Microsoft credentials such as Hotmail or Office 365 account
Hangouts - Google’s communications software covering text, voice and video chat by simply using your Gmail address
Other useful tips
Dress as though you’re attending an onsite interview - from top to bottom! Looking your best helps you to feel more confident and reinforces a positive impression. Avoid patterns and stripes if possible – solid colours come across better on camera.
Have any notes and questions close to hand – including your CV and the job description/advert plus the name of the person you’ll be meeting.
Consider slight delays and take time to respond to ensure the interviewer has finished speaking. Use short, concise statements to accommodate for slight audio or video lag. Doing so also gives the interviewer an opportunity to ask questions so that you’re not talking over each other.
Be engaged – you are still technically meeting face to face so smile, make eye contact with the web camera (not the screen), be personable and use confident, professional body language. Best to sit at a table as if you were actually in an interview.
Don’t be late!