Submitted by: Mark E. Percy, Staffing and Recruiting Specialist, Metrics3 Staffing
Metrics3 Staffing knows that in today’s world of high technology, interviews have been evolving. Yes, most employers would agree that there is nothing more telling than sitting down across from a candidate. You get a better impression from looking at someone, their appearance and how they react. But more potential jobs are requiring a phone interview, or maybe even a video interview over Skype. We do this as well. Being prepared for this type of interview can be just as important as walking into an HR department. Here are some tips to get you through this ever-expanding type of process.
1) Dress down for a phone interview, dress up for a video interview.
• If you are talking to a prospective employer on the phone, you don’t want to be concerned with how your clothes are fitting. Wearing something comfortable will keep you from fidgeting, which can sometimes be picked up on the phone.
• On the other hand, if you are preparing for a video conference, you need to look the part. We’re not saying that you necessarily have to go all-out and wear a full suit, but show them that you have respect for them. They are taking the time to interview you, so a nice collared shirt (tie optional) and some comfortable slacks (or a skirt for the ladies, if you would prefer) would be appropriate.
2) Prepare a neat and clear workspace, and don’t expect to be moving around.
• For a phone interview, this could be your dining room/kitchen table or a couch with coffee table. If you are using your computer (phone or video), make sure that your desk is not cluttered. For video, make sure that there are no distractions for your interviewer in your camera’s background. This includes warning other people not to walk into the area.
3) Make sure that you have a drink handy, you have used the bathroom, and your phone is fully charged (or have a charger nearby)
• All interviews are unpredictable things, and this includes phone interviews. It might last 5 minutes, but it generally will last longer. Plan on a half-hour, unless you’ve previously been told otherwise. Therefore, you don’t want to have to excuse yourself because your throat is dry, your bladder is full, or your phone is beeping in your ear.
• For video, make sure that your beverage is not visible to the camera unless you are taking a sip, and don’t drink too much or too often.
4) Like with any interview, have a plan.
• Knowing what you want to say beforehand can be crucial. Have your resume with you, and a list of questions that you may want to ask. The more questions the better, as you can always cross them off when they are answered. But a constant fumbling for words will be a big turn-off, no matter how brilliant your resume is.