How to prepare for a phone interview and an online video interview?

The spread of coronavirus is changing the way we live, study and work. For security reasons, many employers and recruitment companies in Latvia and worldwide are moving from face-to-face interviews to telephone interviews and online video interviews.

While job interview questions are unlikely to change, there are some differences between face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews.

Telephone interview

Telephone interviews have historically been used as an initial method for screening candidates but are now becoming more widely used.

Tips for preparing for a phone interview:
    • Finding a quieter place when you see a call from an unfamiliar number. If this is not a good time to talk, feel free to ask them to call you after a certain time.
    • Prepare an information about yourself in one to two sentences. Read the cover letter – if you have taken the time to prepare it, you already have all the answers;
    • No need to respond right away. If you didn’t understand the question, feel free to ask. Demonstrate interest and ask questions;
    • After a phone call, ask yourself – what is your impression? Do you still want an internship or job in this company?


    • Live Video Interview

      You definitely need to be 100% ready. The quality of your online video interview depends on two things – your answers to questions and your ability to use modern technology. Before the interview, try it out with a friend who can judge the quality of your computer’s sound and picture connection. Skype, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and more, are the most common types of programs. Before the video interview, make sure the interviewer has your mobile phone number if you still need to do a phone interview.

      Tips for preparing for an online video interview:
          • Choose a quiet, well-lit room with a neutral background, sit down so you can easily look at the camera and your picture wouldn’t be distorted;
          • Make sure your room is clean so unnecessary items wouldn’t distract from the interview process;
          • Prepare your computer, check your internet connection speed, your computer’s microphone and camera before the interview;
          • Dress as if you were going to a face-to-face interview – home interview doesn’t mean you can dress up in home clothes;
          • Consider avoiding bright colored clothes or big jewelry that can distract you;
          • Schedule your time if you don’t live alone – agree to be alone in the room, warn your relatives / friends not to disturb you;
          • Close unwanted programs on your computer, avoid unexpected interruptions and strange sounds;
          • Prepare your resume and remarks that highlight why you would be the right candidate for this vacancy;
          • Before the interview research company information and a research the most recent information;
          • Think about the questions that you might ask the interviewer. It is best to write these questions on a sticky note and stick it to the monitor;
          • Pay attention to the intonation, timbre of your voice, as a monotone is the fastest way for an interviewer to lose interest in you;
          • Prepare a glass of water and put it beside you;
          • If you really want to get an internship / job, show it after the interview, write a letter of gratitude to the interviewer. Finally, be patient, as it may take a little longer than usual for your interviewer to decide.


          • Be Social and ActiveNow

            Your active presence on social media like LinkedIn is more important than ever. Share and comment on articles relevant to your field of study / profession. Join discussion groups, comment and post articles.

            RTU students can receive career counseling remotely by writing to Eva.Patmalniece@rtu.lv.

            For more information:

            RTU Career Center Edition “Career Day 2020” (20.03.2020.)

            Gabija Čeledinaitė Psychologist, career counselor at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (20.03.2020.)

            5 things you must do to have a successful job interview on video during the COVID-19 outbreak (20.03.2020.)

            5 Tips for Job Searching During Coronavirus (20.03.2020.)
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