You submitted your resume and received a call back from your dream employer! Making a great first impression is critical in making it to the next stage of interviews, but can be especially challenging when it’s through phone or video.  Let’s examine how you can make a great first impression over the phone or on video call.

  1. Location, Location, Location- Make sure you are in an area with good reception and little to no background noise. The best option may be to wear a pair of head phones with an integrated microphone so you and the interview can hear one another clearly.
  2. Trial Run- Is your first interview being conducted via video? Log in and test the video application or website, as well as your microphone and camera, prior to the interview.  If something is wrong, make sure you have enough time to find an alternative option  i.e. using your phone or a friend’s computer.
  3. Research- Start by examining the company’s website.  Know what they do, and the products or services they provide. The first question that many interviewers ask is “What do you know about *insert company name here*?”
  4. Research- Yes, research again….But this time be sure to research the interviewers on LinkedIn. Look through their profiles and see if you have any connections or interests in common. i.e. Did you go to the same school?, Do you have a mutual connection?, Do you share a similar certification?, etc…. Connect with your interviewer on a personal level.
  5. Reread the job description – Use the keywords from the job description to answer the questions asked. After rereading the job description, try to remember any instances where you have practically put into place a skill they are specifically looking for.
  6. Read relevant press releases- Be knowledgeable on some of the most recent press releases and bring them up in conversation. Show the interviewer that you don’t just know what they do but share their strategic vision for the future. For example, did they just go from a private to public company? Ask about their decision-making process and if employees have stock options. It will show them that you are up to date and interested in them as a company.
  7. Questions- Prepare 2-3 questions to ask at the end of the interview. Examples are: Where do you see the organization in 5 years? What do you expect from me within my first 90 days?
  8. Smile- Take it from someone who talks on the phone all day long…you can tell when people are happy to speak with you. You can hear a smile over the phone.

Questions show an interviewer you have a high level of interest in the position; however, there are some questions you should steer clear from in the first interview, including: salary, benefits, and PTO.  You should be interested in the position itself and not the compensation that goes along with the position.  Talking about compensation during the initial interview may be a bit off-putting to the interviewer unless he/she brings it up first.

Do you have more questions about your initial interview? Reach out to your specific recruiter. If you don’t currently work with ARG feel free to fill out our contact form and we are happy to help with interview prep, resume editing and on-site interview prep.