Digital job interviews and phone interviews are used increasingly as an effective method of filtering candidates for job interviews. If a company has asked you to complete a digital interview, don’t blow off your preparation. Whether you make it to the follow-up interview will depend on your performance.
Digital and phone interviews are quite a bit different from face-to-face interviews, and it’s important to know how to present yourself in one. Here are a few tips for making an impression even if you aren’t interviewing in person.
1. Prepare for an in-person interview.
Even though you’ll likely feel less pressure without the interviewer present in the same room, it’s still incredibly important to prepare. Don’t take your interview lightly– blowing off your preparation could sabotage your chances. Do your research, prepare in advance, and present yourself professionally in the interview. When in doubt, treat the interview like any other formal, in-person interview. Prepare and rehearse answers to tackle some of the most asked interview questions, and wash up and dress up for the occasion. If you’re interviewing by video, how you appear will matter; if you’re interviewing by phone, the preparation will still put you in the right mindset so that you can communicate to the interviewer in the proper manner.
2. Speak clearly and energetically.
It’s a fact: we all sound different over the phone or computer. Even if you think you’re speaking clearly and with energy, your words may come out muddled or confused. Practice speaking and get an idea of how you sound: record yourself talking on your computer, or get some friends to help you improve on how you speak over the phone. This can help you keep from speaking too fast, slurring your words, or talking monotonously.
3. Body language still matters
Body language affects how you sound– you can hear a smile in someone’s voice, after all. When you’re interviewing, be aware of your body language, even though it may not translate over the phone or screen. Sit upright instead of slouching, gesture with your hands, and conduct yourself as you would if your interviewer was sitting right across from you.
4. Anticipate uncertainty
Just like in face-to-face interviews, you will encounter silences from the interviewer. Without verbal feedback it can be difficult to know what’s going on, but don’t be too quick to break the deafening silence. The last thing you need to do is make yourself appear less-than-confident by trying to talk through the quiet. Likely, the interviewer is taking notes.
5. Time it to your best advantage
With digital interviews, it’s easy to arrange the time and set up the environment for the interview. Try to set the interview for a time when you’re most energetic (e.g. morning), and make sure you won’t be constrained by time if the interview runs longer than than expected (typically 20 to 30 minutes).
6. Clear the line
Don’t risk poor phone reception or even worse, disconnection. If your interview is by phone, try to conduct it by landline. If your interview is online, make sure you have a good connection. And no matter whether you’re interviewing by phone or by computer, ensure that all your notifications and alerts are turned off. Sudden noises or popups in the background can be a major distraction when you’re being interviewed.
Have you participated in a digital job interview? Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments.