Navigating Skype, phone, and virtual interviews

As technology advances, more and more platforms are emerging to increase efficiency and save money for both the recruiters and the candidates. On top of that, there are also platforms that utilize Artificial Intelligence to detects a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses from a virtual interview video recorded in a few minutes. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself and practice interview methods so you are always prepared when a non-traditional interview comes up!

 

Phone interviews have been popular for a longer period than the other two. Although both parties cannot see each other during the interview, there are several things you need to take care of.

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet space. Reserve a room on campus or with your career service center for the period you have scheduled interviews. Noises and outside conversations can be a distraction to you and create hearing difficulties for the recruiters.
  2. Test your devices beforehand. If you are using a cellphone, make sure you receive enough signal, and your speaker and microphone are working. If possible, using headphones can help improve call quality and free your hands when you need to take notes.
  3. Speak slowly and loudly. Voices can get caught due to poor signal, and it is important that your message is sent so you and the recruiters can establish mutual understanding. 
  4. Dress in Business Professional. This is really optional because you are not appearing in front of the interviewer, but people do find that their attire affects their confidence level. 

 

Skype interview has also been popular with recruiting. On top of the phone interview checklist, there are several additional things to watch out. 

  1. Quiet space with a decent background. The best background would be a clear, white (or anything light) wall. 
  2. Test your devices beforehand. When having Skype interviews, an internet connection is crucial. Avoid using data and try to find a stable wireless connection. If you need a room equipped with wireless connection and webcams, the Business Career Center has rooms for you to reserve beforehand. If you’re using your own computer, make sure your camera has a decent picture quality. 
  3. Get online at least 10 minutes earlier. That way you can make sure you have a stable connection instead of trying to get connected at your scheduled time. 
  4. Speak slowly and loudly. Since you are now visible to the interviewer, pay attention to your facial expression and avoid tensing/frowning. 
  5. Dress in Business Professional. Even when Skype interviews are mostly focused on your upper body, wearing Business Professional from head to toe also immerses you into the environment and help you focus. 

 

Virtual Interviews are currently trending during interview seasons. There are different platforms (such as Hirevue) that utilize AI to complete a prescreening of the applicants before companies review the application. The AI analyzes applicants’ facial expression, gestures, choice of words, tone, pace, etc. to identify applicants that seems fitting to the company. Therefore, they are usually timed with a given period of preparation, and it depends if you will get more than one chance. It can be stressful but there are definitely ways to practice and things to watch out beforehand. Many of them, you will find overlapping with the Phone and Skype interview watchlist. 

  1. Quiet space with a decent background. The best background would be a clear, white (or anything light) wall. 
  2. Test your devices beforehand. When having virtual interviews, an internet connection is crucial. Avoid using data and try to find a stable wireless connection. If you need a room equipped with wireless connection and webcams, the Business Career Center has rooms for you to reserve beforehand. If you’re using your own computer, make sure your camera has a decent picture quality. 
  3. Get online at least 10 minutes earlier. That way you can make sure you have a stable connection instead of trying to get connected at your scheduled time. 
  4. Speak slowly and loudly. Although you are only talking to a computer, there is a good chance your video will be passed onto actual recruiters. You would always want to show the best side since you don’t know what the AI is looking for. 
  5. Dress in Business Professional. Even when Virtual interviews are mostly focused on your upper body, wearing Business Professional from head to toe also immerses you into the environment and help you focus.
  6. Practice beforehand. Virtual interviews ask questions that are just the same as regular interview questions. Therefore, to practice, you would want to time yourself on a camera and record yourself answering a question from 1 to 3 minutes. Since the platform gives you time to prepare, you can always time yourself of 30 to 60 seconds for preparation before recording to simulate the environment for yourself. Practice makes perfect!

Lastly, good luck! Show your confidence and be yourself! If you have more questions, feel free to contact the Business Career Center at 8148636161. If you need to schedule a counseling appointment or a room reserved, go to https://nittanylioncareers.psu.edu/.

By Helen Zheng
Helen Zheng Helen Zheng