Top Tips for Telephone & Skype Interviews

top tips for telephone interviews

We’ve recently noticed an increase in the use of Telephone Interviews from some of our clients – so we thought we’d revisit our top tips on How to best present yourself – over the phone or on Skype.

When you start your job search, you may find that the initial interview stage is conducted over the telephone or over Skype. Any interview can feel nerve-wracking, but when having a telephone or skype interview, there’s a whole set of new challenges you have to deal with.

If you’ve never had one before, you don’t really know what to expect – so we’ve compiled some top tips for telephone and skype interviews.

Telephone interviews are often used to screen candidates before a face-to-face meeting, so it’s important to impress and get yourself to the next stage.

Here are five top tips for a successful job interview over the phone.

5 Top Tips for Telephone Interviews

1. Keep your contact details up to date
There is often a long period of time between applying for a role and being given an interview date. Make sure you keep your potential employer ore recruitment agency updated with your current contact details to make sure they have the best number to call you on.

Remember, mobile numbers are not usually the most reliable option but if you don’t have a landline, ensure you can be somewhere that has a good signal for the interview.

top tips for telephone and skype interviews
2. Research and prepare

Research the organisation online and look over any information you’ve been sent – such as the job description and person specification.

Also, try to research the activity of any direct competitors and the industry as a whole – it’s helpful to have some wider knowledge to add context to your answers.

Just because an interview is over the phone, it doesn’t mean it will be any less thorough than the usual process. Prepare notes and gather information like you would before a face-to-face interview.

Have your written notes in front of you – with important points easy to reference.

3. Get your notes in order
The biggest advantage to telephone interviews is that you’re able to have your notes with you.

While lengthy notes could actually prove distracting, short, relevant notes about your experience or the company can be used to prompt your interview responses. Make sure your notes are clear and legible – don’t risk tripping over your words. Also, have a pen and spare paper handy to make additional notes.

4. Check your body language and tone
Be aware of your body language, even though the interviewer can’t see you. Typically, standing up can make you feel and sound more alert and confident. Remember to smile too, it will show in your voice.

5. Choose the right location
Make sure you have a quiet, comfortable space where you’re unlikely to be disturbed with noise or other interruptions. Ensure that your family/housemates know you’re undertaking an interview so they know not to disturb you.

And what about Skype?

Don’t get caught out like Robert Kelly, famously interrupted by excitable children during a BBC interview!

Skype interviews are becoming much more common, I myself had one a while ago, which was successful and led to a second interview :0). Much of this advice is common sense, make sure you treat it like a face-to-face interview and prepare for possible hurdles.

It does get tricky when there’s more than one interviewer, alongside time delays and freezing images caused by buffering connections. But, here are some top tips for how to maximise success when doing an interview on Skype:

8 Tips for Skype Interviews

  1. Make sure your username is professional
  2. Dress the part
  3. Think about your location, i.e is the background ok?
  4. Use a headset if you can
  5. Maintain eye contact + smile
  6. Handle any tech glitches with grace
  7. Avoidable possible tech glitches by preparing, have phone no. and email addresses to hand
  8. Eliminate the chance of interruptions

Visit Joinkoru – for more details on how to handle interviews on skype.

Source: Joinkoru

Originally published – March 2017.
Updated March 2019

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