The job market and hiring landscape have certainly seen many changes throughout 2020. With high unemployment numbers and many jobs forced to go remote. The way that employers are bringing on new team members has also seen its fair share of changes. Many companies are reworking their onboarding techniques and looking at different metrics when searching for that perfect candidate.
We’ve written before about how to make yourself versatile and marketable for the current job market. With so many employers being limited to remote or phone interviews, we thought we’d take a look at some very useful phone and/or Zoom interview tips.
While phone interviews have always been a common way for employers to ‘meet’ a possible candidate, it is even more common today. Many companies will begin the interview process with a phone call to discuss a job opportunity. This means that your chance to make a first impression is with your voice. For some people, this may be somewhat of a relief. For others, it might be slightly more nerve-wracking. However, there is no denying that the phone interview is different and has its unique characteristics.
Why Some Companies Choose a Phone Interview
This is often used as a way to narrow down the list of people that will be asked to come into an in-person interview. A phone call can be a quick way for employers to gauge whether a candidate is suitable.
Phone Interview Tips:
- Research, the company. This is, of course, a viable tip whether you are talking about a phone or in-person interview. It is a must. Please don’t wait for an in-person interview to educate yourself about the company, their mission, and what they are all about. It puts you in a confident position.
- Have a notepad and notes in front of you. One of the advantages of a phone interview is that you cannot be seen. Writing down notes on some typical answers to common interview questions can help jog your memory about the kind of responses you want to give. However, this is tricky as you do not want to write long-winded sentences that get difficult to read and that you fumble through when trying to answer. Quick notes that help you stay on track will do.
- Do your homework as to why you are a match. Take some time to make sure you can articulate why you are the right match and a strong candidate for the position. Go through this ahead of time and have solid responses to why your past qualifications prepare you for this specific role.
- Have your resume and the job description in front of you. You can always resort to your resume and the job description to keep you focused. It is not uncommon for people to do multiple interviews in one day and confuse the job descriptions. You want to be clear about what the job entails.
- Get in a practice session. Talking on the phone is slightly different, especially if it’s not something you’re used to often doing. Take a little time to have a friend or family member practice with you.
- Confirm the details of the interview. Also, confirm all the details of the interview and make sure you know the precise date, time, and name of the person that you may be speaking with. Knowing the name of your interviewer will make the call more personable.
Tips for Looking Professional in a Zoom Call
In addition to traditional phone calls, employers are also utilizing video conference calls for interviewing possible candidates. For many, the use of Zoom and other conferencing call software is a new thing, especially doing it in a professional setting. So here are some tips to keep you looking and sounding professional.
Preparing for the interview:
Mind the lighting. This is a big one for web conferences. People neglect to consider the lighting and end up in shadow or with lighting that highlights the bags under their eyes or is simply not as complimentary as it can be. This is not to say you have to look perfect, but a little consideration of where the light source is in relation to you and the camera can go a long way. Having one steady lamp in front of you or having a window in front of you can sometimes be all you need.
Consider the background. Avoid very busy backgrounds. This might often cause distraction or give the wrong impression. Bookshelves are popular ones, but trinkets or book titles can cause distractions and break the flow of the call.
Don’t stand too close. If you’re using a laptop camera or the one on your phone, having your face too close to it is likely to distort you. The closer you are to the camera, the more distorted you will look, and this could also cause distraction and simply not put your best face forward. Also, don’t have the camera under your face either. Your best bet is to have the camera at eye level and not have it too close.
You also need to remember and try out the camera beforehand and make sure your setup is working. You don’t want to surprise yourself as you jump on the call.
Job Connection Will Help
Overall, these are just a few tips to consider. Always be professional, clear, and confident. There is no substitute for the fundamentals! Here at Job Connection, we are helping people find new opportunities in today’s modern workplace. Connect with us and find out more.