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Getting from the Remote Interview to Face-to-Face

Often times hiring managers will ask for a phone conversation or a remote interview, such as Skype, as a way to narrow the field for the next-round of hiring decisions. These interviews are crucial if you want to have a chance at the coveted face-to-face job interview.

Because remote interviews are quite common, many interviewees feel like they have their bases covered. I’m on the phone, or sitting at my computer at home, and I just have to sound enthusiastic and be myself. Easy right? It’s not quite that simple.

Treat a remote interview just as seriously as you would an in-office interview. And, be sure you are following these suggestions to get an invitation to meet the hiring manager face-to-face!

  • Take time to prepare. Just as you would for an office interview: have a copy of your resume handy, do research on the company, see if you are connected on LinkedIn to someone from the company or your interviewer, have a few questions prepared, and be dressed for the interview.

  • Dress for your interview. If this is a skype type interview you certainly want to look the part for the job, just as if you were face-to-face the interviewer can see you. Look interview ready. If it is a phone interview, you should still be dressed and not in your jammies, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and sit at a desk or table. No one can see you, but these simple acts will boost you into interview mode. So, practice answering a few questions out loud and sit up straight!

  • Eliminate distractions and interruptions. Make sure you are in a quiet area where kids, pets, or roommates will not intrude. Be sure the radio and TV are turned off. Your full concentration should be on the call.

  • Listen and respond. You don’t have to fill all the empty air space. It’s tough when you are on the telephone to allow some quiet moments, but don’t feel like you should dominate the conversation. Speak to the questions asked and be sure to take a breath, and then ask your interviewer if they would like more examples or details.

  • In your pre-interview prep, be sure to have a couple open ended questions at the ready to get your interviewer talking. You want to take this opportunity to learn about the company and their culture as much as the interviewer wants to learn about you, and if you will be a fit.

  • A remote interview is a real interview. Follow-up as you would with any interview, send a thank you note.

  • Good luck. You’ve got this.