With recruiters and organisations increasingly using video and telephonic interviews as the first official interaction with a candidate, chances are you have already been in one, or you are likely to be in one soon enough. Since this is an upcoming trend, a lot of people are unaware about the conduct and etiquettes of the same. Some grapple with technology, and some do not realise that their mannerisms, tone and body language give away more than they would want to. Listed below are some basic guidelines you should follow, before and while appearing for such an interview:
Wear a crisp and preferably bold colour, because the resolution of the video call will dull it down. Do not, under any circumstances, appear on the camera without combing, cleaning up or with a piece of spinach stuck between your teeth. Your background must be neutral, or plain, with nothing too distracting – visually or audibly.
Sort the technical issues
Check your internet speed, your computing device and the hardware. Spending half the interview saying ‘Can you hear me/ Am I audible’ will not do you favours. Prepare and plan a mock video call with a friend or the Skype-Bot to check if audio, video and the settings are working as they should.
Position the camera at the level of your face, look at the camera while talking (not the screen), make sure the lighting is sufficient and if you wear glasses, position yourself in such a way that they don’t reflect the light. Do not use too many hand gestures, because in a limited space frame – they tend to be distracting.
Select a quite place to carry the interview. The television, a baby crying, pets howling or traffic noise is unacceptable, no matter the situation. Take a comfortable seat before proceeding, and do not be walking around nervously.
Listen. Pause. Talk
In a face-to-face or video interview, you get a split second to gauge whether the other person has stopped speaking or not, but in a telephonic that is not the case. So listen patiently to what is being asked, take a second – to ensure the question has ended and to gather your thoughts before you speak. Do not speak too quickly and answer only what is asked, for people tend to go into longer monologues over telephones with an occasional – ‘Yes/Right/Sure’ from the other side.
Don’t forget the basics
Charge your phone sufficiently beforehand, make sure you have enough network bars, close all the apps to restrict notifications and do not answer other calls while the interview is on. If the scheduled time is 11.00, make sure you are absolutely ready by 10.45. Ideally, the interviewer will give you a call at the scheduled time, but if they don’t, give them a call within 5-10 minutes of the said time to check if the interview is still on.
Telephonic and Video interviews must be taken as seriously as any face-to-face interview, for they are the first of the many steps to come. Many take the concept of giving the interview from a place of their comfort a little too literally, and make mistakes without realising them. Like any other interview, you must be prepared with information regarding the organisation and should know the latest activity that made news. Similarly, your documents – resume, records, certificates must be organised in front you to answer any questions regarding qualifications, experience etc. Lastly, after the interview do not forget to send a thank you email to the interviewee or the person who arranged it, with a line or two about how the interview went from your perspective.
The mediums and channels of communication might be undergoing a change, but the basic rules and principals of communication remain unchallenged even today. Don’t take them for granted, and spend sufficient time preparing and setting up for such interviews, and you are likely to do well. Good luck!