These days, there is an extremely high degree of professional mobility and a widespread comfort with all the devices that let us lead on-the go, mobile lives. As a result, more and more employers are turning to remote interviews, either over the phone or via Skype.
Generally speaking, there are no downsides to doing these types of remote interviews, though Skype is preferable to the phone simply because seeing someone’s face has a dramatically beneficial impact on perception. However, if for some reason you don’t have the ability to use Skype, by all means arrange to conduct the interview over the phone.
In both cases, you should dress and position yourself exactly as if you were going to an in-person interview. Sit in a chair at a table, with a pad of paper and a pen, and lean forward in the chair so that your energy is in your body. This will all positively influence how you present yourself. Decide where you’ll sit in advance of the interview so that you’ll be somewhere quiet, preferably even with a door closed, in order to fully focus on the conversation.
If you are doing the interview over the phone, consider having a mirror propped in front of you so that you can see your reflection and make sure it’s animated and energetic. This enthusiasm will be transmitted by your voice. An occasional “Hmm, interesting” or “I see” can go a long way to show that you are paying attention and are focused and interested. If during the phone interview there is a silence that feels awkward, simply ask if the interviewer needs a minute to take notes, or if he or she would like you to expand on your response.
If you are conducting the interview via Skype, test out your camera angle before the interview begins. Be aware of what the interviewer will see behind you and remove anything that will not reflect well on you professionally. Make sure you look directly into the camera when you are talking, and maintain direct eye contact as best you can—it will keep you connected to the conversation and projecting confidence.
We live in a world that is greatly influenced by technology, and it’s important that we adjust to it as it expands and continues its reliance on these methods. My best advice is to always think about this question: what can I do to make this experience more authentic and showcase who I really am?