It is not uncommon for your first interview to be over the phone or video nowadays. Many companies will initiate a phone, or video, interview as a time-saver. A phone or video interview allows the company to discuss the job opportunity with a prospective candidate to determine if they are a good fit, and to determine their interest in the job. So how do you turn a phone or video interview into a face-to-face interview? Here are five ways to succeed in a phone or video interview!


1. Act as if you were meeting face-to-face.
The most common mistake people make for a phone or video interview is treating it more casually than they would a face-to-face interview. If you are convinced that the interview is taking place form the comfort of your home so you do not need to be as nervous or prepared – you are wrong. For a video interview, dress as if you were going to a face-to-face interview, your appearance matters. Be confident, knowledgeable, and behave as if you are best fit for the position.


2. Get comfortable, but not too comfortable.
A phone or video interview can be a good weight off your shoulder and bring a sense of comfort. Remember, just because you are giving an interview from the comfort of your home it is no excuse to behave any differently than you would in a face-to-face interview. Use the comfort-ability to your advantage and calm your nerves, but do not get too comfortable to a point of unprofessional-ism. For example, if you’re in a noisy area with your kids screaming and playing in the background of your phone interview move to a more quiet space and respect the interviewers time. Or, if you’re giving a video interview do not prop yourself on the couch with a mess in the background and computer on a lower-coffee table – instead find a solid colored background and sit in a chair with the computer at an even-leveled table.


3. Be prepared.
Set-aside an hour prior to your interview to organize and set-up all necessary material. This is the time to make sure your web-cam is working properly and check your WIFI connection, so there are no unexpected events. Make sure your cell phone is charged and you have full service in the area you are in for the phone interview. This is a great time to review any material you may have researched about the company and job position. 5 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time, get settled into your space with the web-cam or phone on and ready to accept incoming calls.


4. Speak slowly and clearly.
If you’re nervous, it’s easy to speak quickly over the phone. The downfall of a phone interview is the interviewer cannot pick up on signals or visual cues to see that you are nervous. Articulate your words clearly as if you were speaking to the person on the other line in person. If the connection is weak and you are having trouble hearing the interviewers, do not be afraid to speak-up and tell them that it is difficult to hear them.


5. Your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview.
Remember, this is not your final interview. This is an introduction. Your goal during your phone or video interview is convince them you should be asked in for a face-to-face interview. Treat the interview with as much respect as you would for one in-person. Listen and don’t dominate the conversation. At the end of the interview, thank the interviewers as you would normally and send a follow-up email.  

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