Preparing for Video & Phone Interviews

woman on laptop with headphones on

Given the impact of COVID-19, video-chat and phone calls are becoming a popular way for employers to conduct job interviews.

Use our checklists below, to help you prepare to get in front of the camera or on the phone for your interview.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started.

1. Do your research

  • When talking to employers about jobs, you need to show them you understand their business.
  • Finding out about the employer will help you explain how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the role and their business.
  • For tips on researching employers, check out How to research an employer.

2. Find a quiet location to have your interview

  • Find somewhere you won’t be interrupted by noises, pets or other people.
  • For video interviews, check the area and lighting and make sure:
    • there is nothing in the background that could distract the employer during your interview.
    • the room is well-lit so the interviewer can see you.

3. Prep your tech

Once your video or phone interview is booked in, understand what tech you need and how to use it.

  • What do I need for a video interview? 
    • An internet connection.
    • A laptop or desktop computer with a camera or webcam - a tablet or smartphone may also be an option.
    • Headphones with a built-in microphone.
  • What program or app do I use for a video interview?
    • There are many different video-chat platforms, including Zoom or Skype. The employer should tell you which platform you need to use and should send you a link where you can access the platform. If not, ask them.
    • You may need to download the app or program if you don’t already have it.
  • What do I need for a phone interview? 
    • A mobile phone (make sure it is fully charged) or access to a landline phone.
    • Headphones or hands-free with a built-in microphone (if you can't use speaker, best to use your headphones or hands-free).
  • What if I don’t have equipment for a video or phone interview? 
    • Ask any friends or family if you can borrow equipment.
    • Some libraries have private rooms that can be reserved and they may also be able to lend you the equipment you need. You can also check with an employment services provider to see if they can help.
    • Let the employer know - they may have another solution.
    • Think about renting equipment (this will have a cost).
  • Do a trial run 
    • Set aside time to test your equipment in the lead up to your interview. If possible, ask a friend or family member to help you test it out.
    • This gives you time to identify any internet connection, equipment or sound issues so you can fix them before the interview.

4. Practise & personal presentation

It’s a good idea to get used to presenting yourself confidently on video and over the phone. Employers sometimes like to record these interviews so they can watch or listen to them again later, so you should present yourself well. Practising will help your confidence grow.

  • Practise video or phone interviewing
    • Try recording yourself answering questions, then watch it back. This will show you how you look on-screen.
    • If you can, ask someone to call you via video or phone to practice some questions. Ask them for honest feedback on how they think you went.
  • Prepare your outfit
    • Did you know that wearing interview clothes can help get you into the right job interview mindset? Just because you’re not interviewing in person, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the effort to look good!
    • For tips on dressing the part, check out this article - Why personal presentation is so important.

5. If things go wrong

There’s always a chance things could go wrong with the tech or you get interrupted. Review the checklists below for some backup plans!

These tools can help you: