In the current world where social distancing has become the norm, video and phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular. They can also be used as a pre-interview to see if the employer wants to meet you for a face-to-face interview.

In a video or phone interview you will probably be asked the same questions you would in a face to face interview. But, because the employer is not meeting you in person, you might have to try harder to impress them.

girlt sitting in front of a laptop with head phones in and waving at the screen

However there are things you can do to help you succeed at a video or phone job interview.

What you should know about video interviews

Video interviews are most likely to be carried out on a computer, using its built-in camera. You will probably be able to use your computer or smartphone at home, if you have one. Or you might have to go into a company office to use their equipment. Employers sometimes like to record these interviews so they can watch them again later.

How to prepare

  • Check your equipment is working including the sound. Is the camera at eye level? Is your whole head in the shot?
  • Wear interview clothes, including pants (you might have to stand up)
  • If you're using a video program like Skype, make sure your username is professional
  • Make sure the background will be uncluttered (a blank wall is good), with no bright lights behind you
  • Try and get rid of any potential distractions. You might need to put your dog in another room or get someone to look after your kids if they are likely to interrupt you.
  • Have a pen and paper ready, and a copy of your resume

During the interview

  • Make sure you look at the camera (and not the picture icon of yourself) to make "eye contact"
  • Don't eat, chew gum or drink (except sips of water)
  • Don't relax too much (that's slouching, squirming or looking away for too long)

What you should know about phone interviews

They won't be able to see me, right? So I can wear my pyjamas? No and yes, you probably could.  

Bananas in Pyjamas walking down the staris

But it's important to take this type of interview seriously too. You might be surprised to know that by wearing interview clothes, it will be easier to get into the right mindset.

How to prepare

  • Make sure your phone's voicemail is professional (in case they miss you)
  • If the employer calls unexpectedly, ask if they can ring back at a better time
  • Arrange to be in a quiet, private space

During the interview

  • Smile when you talk (you'll sound more positive). Standing up can help your confidence too
  • Take notes if you need to
  • Don't eat, chew gum or drink (except sips of water)

And that's it. Good luck with your next video or phone job interview!

Images via: iStock, Giphy