November 21, 2017

Tips to Ace a Non-Traditional Job Interview

FILED IN: Uncategorized

There’s no getting around it, if you are searching for a new job, then you’ll be engaged in hiring interviews. Some people whiz through interviews with ease and grace, while others get a bit jittery and nervous before and during an interview. Whether you are the type of professional that flies through an interview with calm and ease or you have to practice deep breathing exercises first, interviews these days can differ from the traditional interview formats of the past. Many companies may opt for a phone or video job interviews instead of the traditional in-person interviews. Sometimes this is done as a preliminary step to narrow down the candidates, and other times it’s used as the primary method of hiring. No matter the job interview you’re going to get, we can help you prepare for a non-traditional job interview with these tips and practices:

Video Interviews

Video interviews are similar to in-person interviews in that the interviewer will see you and interact with you as if you were there in person. The only difference is you’ll be communicating using digital technology. That means the interview takes place via the computer. While this sounds simple enough, you may run into technical difficulties if you aren’t familiar with the technology. Follow these tips to make it a great interview:

  • Find out how they plan to conduct the interview, and then practice using the technology beforehand so you’ll be comfortable with it. This is important because you don’t want to look unprepared or become frazzled if you have trouble navigating the equipment. 
  • Make sure you use the microphone properly. If it’s too close to your mouth it will sound muffled. This won’t sound good. At all. 
  • Clear the background so there are no distractions. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to be seeing a cluttered desk or a big picture behind your head. Appearance matters – even during a non-traditional job interview such as a video interview. You could lose points for having a cluttered or messy foreground or background. 
  • Wear professional clothes just like you would for a regular interview. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can dress casually. And please, for the love of Pete – wear pants. 
  • Sometimes there is a slight lag in video transmission. So, it’s best to keep hand gestures to a minimum.
  • During an in-person interview, if you don’t maintain good eye contact, the interviewer may think you’re dishonest or shifty. However, with a video interview, not looking into the camera the right way may just make you look technically goofy. Remember to look into the camera and not at the screen. This may take a bit of concentration.

Phone Interviews

During a phone interview, you won’t need to worry about your appearance, the visual background, or even where you are at when it takes place. However, you may need to work harder to make an impression. The interviewer will only hear your words but cannot see how you express yourself. So, choose your words carefully. Sometimes visual cues can add to our words making them stronger (or weaker). In addition, people tend to hear others better when they can see them. It may be because we unconsciously do a bit of lip reading as well as listening. Talking on the phone, with no other visuals, takes more concentration (for most people). Conversations can be misunderstood as well. When participating in a phone interview practice these tips:

  • Speak up so the interviewer can hear you. Try to stay focused and don’t move around too much. 
  • Speak clearly being careful to enunciate your words. 
  • Speak at a moderate speed. You don’t want to talk too fast because it will be harder to capture on phone.
  • Keep some notes on hand to which you can refer, but don’t constantly look at them. That would be weird. 
  • Remember silence is more noticeable on the phone so try not to pause too long before answering the questions.


Whether it’s a video or phone interview, practicing beforehand is important. Think about your skills and experiences so that you will be ready with an answer. Be prepared also for questions that are designed to test your critical thinking skills. Above all, be your authentic self. To look your best in professional headshots that will help you snag that job interview in the first place, contact us today!


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