- On April 6, 2020
Interviews are hard, phone interviews are harder, and videoconferencing is hardest of all because of potential technology and performance problems. Give it your best shot by doing these 5 things:
- Before the call, troubleshoot the technology, and practice on that platform or videoconferencing in general. Find a quiet, well-lit spot. Figure out where to set up your laptop or tablet. Have a neutral background. Position the device so you know you appear centered and the appropriate size (not too close or far) and at a flattering angle (a giant chin is not a good look). And – hardest of all – practice talking in an engaging manner while staring at the tiny pinhole camera! Put a post-it there so you know where to look. Sometimes using your phone makes it easier.
- For the call, dress extra professionally. Wear crisply tailored clothes, ideally without patterns. Avoid glasses if you can since they can cause a glare or obscure your eyes.
- Call in early so you can troubleshoot technology and feel calm. Turn off notifications before the call.
- During the call, have notes in front of you, like the top things you are trying to get across or questions you want to ask.
- No matter how bad the technology is or how awkward the conversation is, it’s your responsibility to make a positive impression. Pause a second before answering in case there is technology lag. Know cold the points you want to make (your relevant skills, why you’re interested, where you want to be in 5 years, etc.) so you can work them in easily, all while staring at the tiny camera hole with a genuine smile on your face and responding appropriately to questions (it’s hard, I know). And while staring at the tiny camera hole, use your peripheral vision to get a sense of how your answers are going, e.g., if the interviewer is smiling and nodding (keep going!) or frowning or looking bored (wrap it up or inject something interesting!). Never talk over the interviewer.