It's the most terrifying part of applying for a job: The Interview. Interviews are the most important elements to securing a job so it’s important that you are prepared. Interviews done over the phone or online may sound less nakakaloka to some, but could also be difficult to navigate as the common strategies for in-person interviews may not apply to them. But fear not! Even though phone/Skype interviews are fairly new compared to face to face interviews, that doesn’t mean they can’t be perfected.
1. Test your reception.
If you are being interviewed on your own phone or computer, the most obvious first step is to ensure that you have reliable reception and internet connection. This is especially important in the Philippines, where sometimes mas mabagal pa sa EDSA traffic ang internet. There is nothing more frustrating than having connection problems during the interview proper, and most of us know just how prone Skype is to connection problems.
2. Recreate an in-person interview.
One of the most common mistakes people make when doing voice call interviews is putting in minimal effort because the person cannot see you. Sure, you can do the interview in your pajamas and while lying on your bed, but would this help you perform well in the interview? Simply put, ’wag tamad. Are you casually chatting with your long-distance pal or are you trying to impress strangers and get a job? Be serious.
3. Get rid of distractions.
Turn off the TV or radio and make sure you take the call in a quiet location. Have someone else look after your pets and/or children while you do the interview. It is also not advisable to conduct interviews in a computer shop. Piso-net may be more reliable than your internet connection at home, but a public place also places you at risk of many distractions. At Ikon, we have special rooms where Skype and phone interviews take place.
4. Prepare a kodigo!
Ito na ang chance mong gumamit ng kodigo nang hindi napapagalitan. Unlike an in-person interview, you can alleviate some of your stress by writing down a few key things to make sure you don’t forget—and not on your hand. Just make sure to keep your notes handy and off-camera! To make it even less obvious, you could try having your cheat sheet open as a Microsoft Word document or in Google Docs while you have the Skype window in the corner of your screen.
Practicing with common interview questions will help you answer the actual ones with certainty and confidence. Relax lang, bes. Ang sabi nga, practice makes perfect. And even if it doesn’t, it will at least make you more assertive during the interview. You are applying for a job abroad and the interviewers are in another country, so it will be helpful to keep in mind that you will be speaking with people from a different cultural background, with different communication norms. Prepare accordingly. Do your research!
6. Aim to make powerful first and last impressions.
Prepare an elevator speech. Know exactly what you want them to know about you and how to say it. Unlike in-person interviews, your interviewers will not remember how you look, or your body language, or how you present yourself. All they will remember are the things you say and the way you say them, especially the first and last things they will hear from you, so make sure that these count. Apart from a good opening, prepare beforehand how you will end the interview as well. End it with confidence and leave them with a bonggang last impression.
For jobseekers looking for work abroad, phone or Skype interviews are not only crucial, but also necessary. With the right amount of preparation and guidance from your recruitment agency, nailing these interviews can be as easy as saying “Pak, ganern!”
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