With applications for internships and graduate jobs, the typical stage after passing the online assessments is to progress onto either a telephone or video interview (or sometimes both!). From speaking to other students here at the University of Warwick, there seems to be a mix of what people prefer between online tests and interviews, however all seem to agree that telephone and video interviews are seriously awkward and you can be faced with pretty difficult questions. Therefore, it’s best to prepare yourself as much as you can and be positive!
General Interview Tips
1. Research the company, find out any interesting facts and figure out why you’re passionate to work for them.
2. Research the company’s business sector and be aware of current issues/stories surrounding that sector.
3. Have a well thought out answer on why you want to work in the field you’re applying for.
4. In preparation, write down scenarios that you have experienced and developed skills from, which you can apply in the future (especially ones where you had to work in a team or lead a group) e.g. University projects, University society responsibilities, events during employment etc.
Telephone Interview Tips
1. Speak with energy and enthusiasm.
2. Utilise any opportunities to showcase your personality – ask the interviewer how their day has been, talk about topics not linked to the interview etc.
3. Don’t be afraid to pause and take 30 seconds to think about your answer – you’re better off responding with a succinct and relevant answer as opposed to one that is sloppy and rushed.
4. Have questions ready to ask at the end in order to show your interest in the company and the internship/scheme you’re applying for.
Video Interview Tips
1. Look directly into the webcam and not the area on the screen that shows your visual recording.
2. Smile throughout – this is really tricky and may be something that you have to fake, but if you don’t do it then you may appear uninterested and potentially boring.
3. Utilise any opportunities to showcase your personality – laugh about aspects of scenarios that you describe, talk about how you felt whilst explaining scenarios. This can also be done if you’re provided with extra time at the end of your interview to add any remaining comments.
4. Don’t feel pressurised to use up all the available time that you have to speak – succinct answers that get straight to the point are preferred to waffley ones.
5. Have a pen, paper and calculator ready as some video interviews are actually job simulations, whereby you’ll have to review case studies and then present back via video. It also helps to have a pen and paper in case you want to write down your answer to a question during your prep time.
Those are my main tips for successfully passing telephone and video interviews, however if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the raised topics further, feel free to comment below. Good luck to those who do have interviews coming up, remember to use any interviews that you have as practise for future ones and as guidance for assessment centres!