8 rules for phone or Skype interviews

  1. Get dressed. Put on shoes that tie so that you can't kick them off and get too comfortable. Wear a suit (or at least a jacket), without stripes or plaids that may be distracting to your viewer. 
  2. Sit at a desk or table. Sit up straight. Re-read your resume and cover letter and have them in front of you. Have pen or pencil and paper so that you can take notes.
  3. Make sure that your phone is fully juiced or that your computer is Skype-ready.
  4. If Skyping, make sure that whatever is behind you is NOT your laundry, your unmade bed or last night's dishes. 
  5. Never forget that you are taking to a human being who is judging you.
  6. Even with Skype, you are relying primarily on your voice. Speak clearly, distinctly and in Standard English (or in the language in which you are being interviewed). It is unlikely that you will be interviewed in "Teen-Age Mall Rat," so avoid "I'm like, you know" which will undercut the power of your speech. Do not mumble. On the other hand, you are not speaking to the third balcony. Ask your interviewer for a sound-check at the beginning of the interview.
  7. If you are conducting this interview at school, ask for a quiet space and then make sure that you can get EXCELLENT cell reception. If necessary, as your career office staff to use a land-line.
  8. For reasons of confidentiality and ambiance (quiet enough so that you can hear and be heard), conducting a phone interview at a coffee shop is not a very good idea. Similarly, airports are generally awful locations for phone interviews.
Good luck!


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