Etiquette Tips for
Teleconference Job Interviews

Teleconference Interview

Being prepared for a teleconference job interview is a little different than a traditional interview.  For one thing, there is no table at which you sit across from someone, confidently making eye contact, and taking in the scope of the environment you may find yourself working in.  

Teleconference job interviews are more focused.  Even though you are not meeting your interviewer(s) in person, they have just as much visibility to assess your qualifications and can easily take notice of your level of preparedness for the interview.

Ready, Set, Interview!

You may think that as long as you have good internet connectivity and a camera on your device of choice, you are interview ready.  But these are only the first two steps.

Paralleling traditional interviews, you still need to ensure that you:

  • Are on time for your interview.
  • Have researched the company and the job position so that you can discuss both easily.
  • Have practiced your voice volume, posture, and facial expressions by recording yourself on the device you will be using, in front of a mirror, or with a friend or mentor.
  • Are dressed appropriately.
  • Have key questions to ask.

After reading my recent teleconferencing etiquette article, an experienced interviewer wrote to share three interview faux pas that those seeking new employment, a new position, or landing an internship should avoid on a teleconference interview. 

  • Not choosing an appropriate place, free from visual and sound distractions.
  • Not positioned at optimal distance, especially sitting too close to the camera.
  • Not looking directly at the camera when speaking.

He suggested creating reminders for yourself to avoid these faux pas.  Here is a way to create your own personalized memory sayings, mnemonic devices, to keep focus on the interview by avoiding what will certainly distract interviewers.  At first glance they might seem silly, but that’s because you will need your own. 

  • “What they see is what they’ll get!”
    (Choose a neutral or other appropriate background that emphasizes your upright posture and attention for the interview.)
  • “Bobbly Bobbly Boo!”  or “I do not have a bobble head.”
    (Position yourself at optimal distance from the camera.)
  • “I see you when I look at the blue.” or “If my eyes drift, I will fall off a cliff.”
    (Look at the camera when speaking.)

Though it is assumed that teleconferencing keeps visibility limited, it does not.  Your interviewer may only be able to see you from the waist up, but this means they will be more focused on the background behind you, the noise level around you, and your level of preparedness and interest in the interview.

“A job interview is a two-way communication probe for cultural and team fit.  No matter which side of the table you sit, you should be asking questions that are important to you without fear.” 

~ Salil Jha

Show Yourself Some Kindness

The process of seeking a new job position is stressful.  It can also make you question whether the job you're interviewing for is the right one for you.  But this a time to be kind and patient with yourself.  And know that the best position will find its way to you.

Step aside from these states of mind which are unkind to yourself. 

  • "I’m probably not their perfect fit because I don’t qualify perfectly."   (It isn’t your job to read the interviewers’ minds, and lack of confidence shows on your face as hesitancy.)
  • "I’m very sorry, I haven’t had background in that.”   (Don't’ apologize for inexperience.  Emphasize the things that you have experience with.  On camera, viewers hear what they’re seeing!  That is, body language when a person talks emphasizing what they don’t have reflects in facial frown and slumped shoulders.)
  • "I’m going to blow this!  I know it!"   (Tell yourself, “Ok, you might!”  Then laugh a little and smile at your worry!)

Some tips to remember:

  • Keep shining bright by being the friendly and positive person you are. 
  • When talking about your strengths, discuss your skills.
  • Follow up by thanking your interviewer for the pleasure of the interview.  Send a thank you note by mail as well.  

An etiquette-ful teleconference job interview is sure to leave a positive and memorable impression.  Even if you don’t get the job for which you interview, you never know where your interview skills may take you!



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