When it comes to interviews, phone and/or video or Skype interviews often precede in-person meetings. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare.
- Plan ahead. Especially if meeting by phone or Skype, agree upon a date and time when you can minimize distractions.
- Know who you're talking with. Phone or Skype interviews may be with HR representatives, deans or departmental faculty.
- Understand their goal. Their goal is to probe your skills and career goals (and sometimes salary expectations).
- Arrive early. Connect to the site to familiarize yourself with the connection process.
- Make connections. Establish eye contact and speak directly into the camera. Convey the same enthusiasm and confidence that you would if the meeting was face to face.
- Minimize distractions. Avoid interruptions and background noise from papers, cell phones or movement. The microphone may be very sensitive.
- Stage your background. Dress to impress and ensure that the background the interviewer will see is not distracting.
- Dress in your interview attire. Stand up or walk around the room to project your voice and enthusiasm.
- Take a deep breath. Do this before picking up the phone so that you don’t hyperventilate or quicken your pace.
- Avoid up-talk. This is where you answer questions with an upward inflection so that answers sound like questions.
- Listen carefully. Avoid interrupting the interviewer.
Interview logistics run the gamut. Your interview may be held at the college or university, at a restaurant or elsewhere. You may meet with one person or with a panel. You may be asked to return over several days to meet with key decision-makers, or have multiple interviews in one day. If you are running late, call the interviewer right away. If you arrive early, be aware that your interview begins the moment you arrive.