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Guide for Skype and phone interviews

Guide for Skype and phone interviews

During recruitment processes companies are increasingly making use of interviews over Skype or phone – either as part of the initial screening process or as the actual job interview. Here are some tips for being prepared for these kinds of interviews.

Prepare as for any other interview

The questions and expectations will be similar to a regular interview. Therefore, be prepared to answer typical job interview questions about your reason for applying, your strengths and weaknesses as well as what you can bring to a company or organization.

Remember to research the company in order to be able to display your knowledge about and interest in this specific job as well as the company as a whole.


Choose your location carefully

There are several reasons for this part to be important.

First of all, you have to be sure that you choose a place with a stable internet connection or phone service. There is nothing worse than the computer freezing during an interview.

Second, choose a neutral background and dress as you would have for a face-to-face interview – even if you are doing an interview over phone, this will help you feel professional and comfortable during the interview. Also, be aware that there is no disturbing factors, noises or people, near you during the interview.


Look into the camera

If you are doing a Skype interview, be aware not to look at the screen but rather into the camera. Thereby, you will look the interviewers in the eye while talking to them. Furthermore, be sure to sit up straight, preferably at a table – do not chose the couch for comfort as this will look sloppy.


Take notes and have your CV ready

During the interview, it can be a good idea to take notes in order to be sure not to forget relevant questions or comments. Also, have your cv by hand to be able to reiterate your professional competencies and capabilities. Do not, however, or write down everything that is said or read out loud from your cv. Use notes and your cv as a guiding help.


Do not interrupt

Skype and phone interviews present a challenge, because it can be difficult to know when to comment on or answer a question when you are not in the same room as the interviewer.

Therefore, be sure to listen carefully, notice the tone of the interviewer’s questions and comments (this might indicate whether the person is finished talking), and do not interrupt. Rather, take a second after the end of the interviewer’s questions, to be sure that it is your turn to speak. Be not afraid of a few seconds of silence where you take time to e.g. drink a glass of water and gather your thoughts – this is completely okay, as it would be during a face-to-face interview.


Ask (good) questions

Like regular interviews, it is important to ask relevant questions. After researching the company, you might have something you want to ask. Good questions could e.g. be about career enhancement opportunities in the company, interaction with other departments, or elaboration on expectations and challenges in the job.

As with any other job interview, do not ask about salary, vacation, and other benefits. This will come up later if the company wants to hire you.


Follow up

At the end of the interview, ask about next steps in the application process and make sure to get the email address of the interviewer. After the interview, follow up on via email where you thank for a pleasant interview but also reiterate your strengths and value for the company. This will enhance your chances of being remembered as a good candidate for the job.