You probably haven’t prepared for this type of interview

Posted by Amanda Augustine

January 21, 2014 @ 02:25 PM

Apply these tips to perfect your scheduled – or unexpected – phone and video interviews.

Virtual_Interview_SkippyYou’ve prepared all week for that interview tomorrow, but Mother Nature may have other plans. Would you know what to do if the hiring manager changes your appointment to a virtual interview due to a snowstorm or flash flood? Whether inclement weather is wreaking havoc on your interview appointments or you want to relocate for work, it’s important to master the art of the virtual interview. Here are three tips to help you ace your next phone or video job interview.

Prepare with care

For a video interview, download any necessary software (or updates) ahead of time and test the equipment. You have control over the environment – find a place that’s quiet, clutter-free, and well-lit. If your home isn’t a great option, consider going to the public library and using one of their study rooms. It’s important to do a test-run with a friend to familiarize yourself with the process and get the setup just right, including volume and the positioning of the camera. For phone interviews, you have the luxury of referencing “cheat sheets” without the interviewer’s knowledge. Have handy a copy of the job description, talking points about your compatibility with the job requirements, and prepared questions for the interviewers.

Treat it like a face-to-face

Apply the same rules you would for any face-to-face interview. Dress up as if you were going to the company's office, even if you’re doing the interview over the phone. This will help you get in the right state of mind. During video interviews, be aware of your mannerisms and nervous ticks, and don't forget to smile. You still need to connect with your interviewers, even if they’re not sitting in the room with you. Be cognizant of your tone over the phone and eye contact through the monitor. Remember, the interviewer can’t see you shaking your head through the phone, so you’ll need to use affirmative sounds such as “uh huh” to show you are listening and engaged.

Show your passion

In order to stand out to the interviewer, you need to sound prepared, polished, and genuinely interested in the role. Be ready with a list of questions for the interviewer that demonstrates your knowledge of the organization and interest in working there. Really consider why you’re interested in the position. Responding with “because I need money” is not going to win you points with the interviewer. Think about the research you’ve done on the company and its industry to identify at least two genuine reasons why you’re interested in working at the organization. Sometimes it’s challenging to amplify your energy level up for an electronic interview. If that’s the case, try jumping up and down a few times before you sit down for the call. As Life Coach Tony Robbins would say, “change your state, change your mind.”

With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to impress the interviewer – no matter where they’re located.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interview