How to Rock Your Next Phone or Video Job Interview

In this undated publicity photo released by NBC, actor Steve Carell appears in this scene from the television series "The Office."  Carell was nominated for lead actor in a comedy series, Thursday, July 6, 2006, when the nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/NBC, Justin Lubin)

While it’s true millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, this is no time to celebrate! #iknowimabuzzkill

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. After all, our generation loves to write in phrases, abbreviations and clever #hashtags – a style that works great on Twitter and Instagram.

But in the job market, more formal communication styles still rule the day.

I recently spoke with Rachel Brown, who runs the Center for Career Services at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Brown said employers often feel recent grads have inadequate communication skills. That goes for writing and speaking.

“Employers tell me the writing is too casual and that young adults also struggle during Skype and phone interviews,” Brown said. “That’s why we stage mock interviews to prepare our students for the real thing.”

If you follow my blog, you know I am big on simple ways to improve our writing. But what about phone interviews? How can we sound our best when we’re on the spot?

Stand Up!

When I was a TV reporter, I learned a simple trick as I recorded my voice for news stories:

Stand up!

When you’re seated (and maybe slumped over), you limit the strength of your voice! By standing up, you breathe better and speak more confidently. You also tend to use your hands and arms more, which makes you more demonstrative; more passionate.

OK, so you made your voice stronger. Now what about the words themselves? What should you say?

Turn the Table

I received solid intel from James Stanger, senior director of product development at CompTIA, the leading trade association for the IT industry.

Stanger said the best interview tactic is to “ask penetrating questions about the company.”

“It’s all about turning the tables to show you’re genuinely interested in being part of our team,” said Stanger.

Know You’re  a Fit!

Everyone emphasizes the importance of research before a job interview, but Brown has a different take on this important issue.

She said employers want to know you have:

  1. The required technical skills
  2. The right soft skills (ex: coachable, team player)
  3. That you’re the right fit (ex: personality, values) for the team.

“Everything rolls up to those three things,” she said.

But how can you can prove you have the right skills and and you’re the right fit if you don’t know their core values, the work environment, and their collective personality?.

So as you prep for the next phone or video interview, spend as much time as necessary to learn what they’re all about. Read the mission statement, learn about recent projects and look over company bios to understand the office vibe/culture. Check out their social media accounts to learn how they communicate with customers, employers and others. Then apply how you work, to how they work.

Stand up straight. Ask amazing questions. And tie your skills, personality and values to theirs. And on your next phone or video interview, the employer will hear you loud and clear!

What’s your phone or video job interview strategy? Share below!


For this post YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!


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Danny Rubin AuthorAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert for the millennial generation. He also writes the blog News To Live By, which highlights the career advice “hidden” in the headlines. His work has appeared on Huffington Post, Business Insider and the New York Times. Follow him @DannyHRubin



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