How to Ace a Phone or Video Interview

In today’s digital age, phone and video interviews have become an integral part of the hiring process. These types of interviews can save time and resources for both employers and candidates, allowing for greater flexibility. However, they also present unique challenges that require specific preparation and strategies. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you ace your next phone or video interview.

1. Mastering the Video Interview (Preparation is Key)

Research the Company and Role

Understand the company: Dive deep into the company’s history, mission, values, and recent news. Knowing this information will help you tailor your answers to align with the company’s culture and objectives.

Know the job description: Thoroughly read the job description and understand the required skills and responsibilities. Be ready to explain how your experience and skills make you a perfect fit for the role.

Prepare Your Environment

Choose a quiet location: Ensure your interview space is free from noise and distractions. Inform family members or roommates of your interview time to minimize interruptions.

Check your technology: Ensure your phone, computer, internet connection, and any necessary software (e.g., Zoom, Skype) are working correctly. Test your microphone and camera to ensure they are functioning properly.

Handle Technical Issues Gracefully

Stay calm: If technical issues arise, stay calm and polite. Inform the interviewer of the issue and suggest a solution, such as rescheduling or switching to a phone call.

Have a backup plan: Keep your phone nearby and charged in case you need to switch to a phone interview.

Set Up Your Space

Choose a neutral background:A plain, clutter-free background is best. Avoid distractions like busy wallpaper or personal items.

Ensure good lighting: Natural light is ideal, but make sure it’s not casting shadows on your face. Position a lamp behind your webcam if needed.

Dress Appropriately

Dress professionally: Even if the interview is remote, dressing professionally can boost your confidence and leave a good impression on the interviewer. Even though its over video, it’s important to make sure your attire is appropriate from head to toe.

Gather Necessary Materials

Have your resume and notes handy: Keep a copy of your resume, the job description, and any notes you’ve prepared within reach. This will help you reference specific details without scrambling.

Prepare a list of questions: Show your interest in the role and company by preparing thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer.

Body Language Matters

Maintain eye contact: Look directly at the camera, not the screen. This simulates eye contact and helps you connect with the interviewer.

Sit up straight and smile: Good posture and a friendly expression convey confidence and enthusiasm.

2. Mastering the Phone Interview

Use Clear and Concise Language

Speak clearly and slowly: Ensure your responses are clear and easy to understand. Avoid using filler words like “um” and “uh.”

Keep responses concise: While you want to provide detailed answers, be mindful of the length. Aim for responses that are thorough but not overly lengthy.

Listen Actively

Avoid interruptions: Let the interviewer finish speaking before you respond. This shows respect and ensures you fully understand the question.

Acknowledge the interviewer: Use verbal cues like “I see,” “That’s interesting,” or “Good question” to show you are engaged.

Use Notes Wisely

Reference notes sparingly: It’s okay to glance at your notes, but avoid reading directly from them. The conversation should flow naturally.

3. During the Interview

Showcase Your Skills and Experience

Use the STAR method: Structure your responses to behavioral questions using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This helps you provide clear and concise answers.

Highlight relevant experiences: Tailor your responses to highlight experiences and skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Build Rapport

Be personable: Smile and use a friendly tone. Building a connection with the interviewer can leave a lasting positive impression.

Mirror the interviewer’s style: Pay attention to the interviewer’s tone and pace, and try to match it. This can help create a more comfortable and natural conversation.

Ask Insightful Questions

Prepare thoughtful questions: Ask about the company culture, team structure, and expectations for the role. This shows you are genuinely interested and have done your homework.

4. After the Interview

Send a Thank-You Note

Express gratitude: Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview. Mention specific points from the conversation to show you were engaged and attentive.

Reiterate your interest: Use the thank-you note to reinforce your enthusiasm for the role and the company.

Reflect on the Interview

Evaluate your performance: Take notes on what went well and what you could improve for future interviews.

Prepare for next steps: If the interviewer mentioned next steps, make sure you are prepared for any follow-up interviews or tasks.


Acing a phone or video interview requires preparation, practice, and a positive attitude. By creating a professional environment, mastering the technology, and showcasing your skills effectively, you can make a strong impression and move one step closer to landing your dream job. Remember, every interview is an opportunity to learn and grow, so take each experience as a chance to refine your approach and improve your chances of success.

Written by: Emily Nason Belgard

Fill 1