Summary: An interview isn’t just about showing off your skills—it’s about connecting with your future employer and seeing how you align with the mission and goals of the company.
Interview Tips for Success
In most cases, employers have a lot of applicants for one job opening. Phone or video interviews are often an initial screening technique to narrow the pool of candidates for a later second round of interviews. Whether you’re called in for an in-person or virtual interview, use these tips to set yourself up for success at your next interview.
1. Prepare Your Talking Points Before the Interview
Like any other interview, it’s important to prepare yourself for questions about your work experiences and how those fit within the company. Here are some things to research before the interview for information about the company’s mission and goals, policies, and culture:
- Company website
- Job application details
- Social media accounts
- Common interview questions for the company’s particular industry
Think about how your prior experiences complement and align with the job’s roles and contribute to the growth or operation of the company.
2. Check Your Technology
If you receive an invitation for a video interview (e.g., Zoom or Microsoft Teams), double-check your internet connection, microphone, volume, and camera to ensure everything works well. Find a private space for the video interview without outside distractions. If the company is using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another application for video chat, it is possible to download them in advance. If there is a registration for the application, use the same email the company used to send you the video link.
Applications also provide wallpaper backgrounds to hide any clutter behind you. Some applications let you hide or turn off your video image during the video. This may be helpful if it would be a distraction to you. Keep things simple if you are concerned about the complications of adding wallpaper or navigating an unfamiliar application for your video chat, and make sure your background area for your interview is clean and neat.
3. Deliver Confidence During the Interview
Be prepared and ready to go at least 15 minutes before the video or phone interview occurs—this gives you a chance to go over your notes and set yourself up for success.
Remember to take your time with the interview questions. When people are nervous, they tend to rush into their answers. In a phone interview, speak clearly and slowly while responding to questions thoughtfully. While what you say is important, how you say it matters more than anything. For example, when the interviewer asks you about past experiences, frame it like a story. Stories create space for an engaging conversation and bridges the gap between your resume; revealing the human behind the achievements.
It’s okay to pause and think, slow down, or ask the interviewer to repeat a question; this gives the interviewer the impression that you are sincere and serious about the interview. If you have prepared for the discussion and as you answer more questions, responses will become easier and more natural. You can also try the STAR method to structure your responses.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask About Next Steps
Often video or phone interviews come before a face-to-face interview. Each company has its own procedures for filling job openings. At the end of the interview, you might want to ask what the next steps are in the interview process. Then, end on a positive note by thanking the interviewer for their time.
5. Ace the Interview in Your Follow-Up
After an interview, follow-up is important. Within 48 hours, contact the interviewer via email and express your thanks again for the opportunity given to you. You should emphasize your interest in the job and how your particular skills align well with the job. If the company is narrowing down many candidates for the job, there may even be a second phone or video interview.
Knowing what to expect in an interview is just a small piece of the puzzle. Every interview presents you with the opportunity to hone your skills and forge powerful connections with others in your field. Remember, even in the face of rejection, a strong impression on the hiring manager can open doors you never knew existed, laying the groundwork for future opportunities and collaborations.
P.S. Want some extra momentum? Network with talent-seeking employers and peers on Tallo Community, check it out and join in the channels that connect you with your interests.