Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Managing Video and Telephone Interviews


As pressure mounts on HR managers to reduce recruitment costs, more and more opt to use one or two methods of remote job interviews. Remote job interviews are typically used before the face-to-face interview and allow the HR manager to interview a greater number of candidates in shorter time. If you are looking to progress your career, you are very likely to attend phone based and or video chat based job interview. Here are solid tips to negotiate your way to success when attending the remote job interview. These tips complete standard job interview tips such as conducting research and preparation.

Video Interviews

These are two-way video chat job interviews, which allows the recruiter to see how you conduct yourself, how you fit with the employer culture and to gage your body language. Typically the free and cross platform Skype is used by recruiters. Here are some solid tips when attending an interview using Skype.

Install and Configure Well Ahead of Time – Before you use Skype, you need to download and configure the software. You will also be asked to open a Skype user account. This takes time, so be sure to download and configure the software well ahead of time.

Think Carefully About Your Username and Photo – When you open a Skype account, you are asked to choose a username (mandatory) and to upload a profile photo (optional, but recommended). These two will be visible to anyone phoning you, so choose a username and upload a photo, which are suitable and professional for the occasion.  For username, consider a variation of first name, last name. In place of your profile photo, upload a frontal high quality face shot.

Check It’s Working – There are two ways to check that the software and your hardware are working well. Once you install Skype, you can call the virtual contact ‘Skype’ to test your microphone and speakers. A better way, one that will help you with your interview skills, is to attend a mock interview. Ask friends, family members, even an agency recruiter to call you and ask a number of questions. Use this opportunity to train on using the software and to test your equipment. 

Stage The Interview Area – Most candidates will opt to conduct the interview at home. It is the most likely environment where you can secure enough peace and quiet for the entire duration of the interview. It is important that the interview area, particularly the area behind you comes across professional for the occasion. In interior design, ‘staging’ is a term that describes temporarily de-cluttering the interior, making sure it comes across neat and tidy, even it is for a short time.   

During the Interview – It is important that you come across interested and eager to the other party. Start by dragging the chat window nearer the webcam. When you look at the webcam, you will come across as making eye contact. Avoid making noise such as playing with your pen, tapping your legs etc. At the end of the interview, tank you interviewer for their time. 

Phone Interviews

These are trusted and proven means to short-list a great number of candidates in record time. The recruiter can quickly weed out unsuitable candidates. On the other hand, the candidate can take the call without incurring too much inconvenience.  Here are some solid tips when attending an interview using phone method.

Landline Over Mobile – Don’t let poor reception undermine your chances. When possible, choose a landline over mobile. If that is unworkable and you are left with only the mobile phone option, at least conduct the interview in a location that you are certain of good mobile reception.

Choose The Right Environment – Choose an environment that will allow you to take the call with minimal noise and where you can speak at a reasonable volume. The more controlled the space you’re calling from, the less room for distractions and other unanticipated events.

Listen and Smile – Let the interviewer talk and take notes if anything is unclear. Always try and remain smiling throughout the conversation, though the interviewer won’t see this. It will help you come across energetic and confident.

Talk Clearly and On Time – If the interviewer is asking a question, wait a second before jumping in. Let the interviewer sense that you are really listening and digesting what was asked. When answering talk in normal voice and avoid shouting. You may also find it useful to stand, meaning that your answers will come from a commending position.

Avoid Distractions – Sit down and have a copy of your CV as well as a copy of the job description in front of you. Hopefully you have also prepared some questions, so also place them in front of you. Don’t eat, but by all means have a cup of water handy. Switch off any distractions such as a TV set and mobile phone (if you are using a landline).

At the End – Thank the interviewer for their time and be sure to ask if they have any further questions for you.

Good luck in your career!

Written by The Carling Partnership (CPL in short), an international search and selection company in the distilleryjobs industry for the CareerWorx Blog.

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