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Top tips for phone & video interviews

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Congratulations on landing an interview! Whether it's by phone or video, acing it can be your first step towards landing your dream job.

Here at Digital Waffle, we want to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to shine. This guide provides actionable advice to help you prepare for and succeed in both phone and video interview formats.


Phone interviews

Phone interviews are a common first hurdle in the recruitment process. While they may seem less formal than in-person interviews, they hold significant weight. They're your chance to make a strong first impression and showcase your skills and suitability for the role.

Here's how to ensure your phone interview is a success:

Phone interview FAQs:

What is a phone interview?

A phone interview is a conversation between you and a recruiter or hiring manager, typically conducted to shortlist candidates for further stages in the recruitment process. It's an opportunity to introduce yourself, discuss your qualifications, and learn more about the role.

How serious is a phone interview?

Take phone interviews very seriously! They are a crucial step in the recruitment process. They give you the opportunity to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your enthusiasm and capabilities for the role. By being well-prepared and engaging, you can increase your chances of progressing to the next stage.

How to prepare for a phone interview?

Before your phone call:

Make a note of the interview details.

Date, time, interviewer's name and contact information. Having this readily available ensures you don't miss the call and can greet the interviewer professionally.

Do your research.

Research the company, their values, and the specific role you're interviewing for. Understanding the company culture and the position's requirements allows you to tailor your responses and demonstrate your knowledge.

Prepare some questions/notes.

Show you're engaged by having a list of well-thought-out questions prepared for the interviewer. Research common interview questions and prepare answers using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This highlights your skills and experience in a clear and concise way.

Plan where to take the call.

Choose a quiet, distraction-free location with good phone reception. This ensures you can hear the interviewer clearly and focus entirely on the conversation. Background noise or interruptions can create a negative impression.

Practice (if need be).

Rehearse your answers to common interview questions out loud. This helps you feel more confident and articulate during the actual interview.

Set a friendly & professional voicemail message.

In case you miss the call, having a clear and professional voicemail message ensures the interviewer can reach you easily and reschedule if needed.

Have your CV to hand.

You might need to refer to your CV during the interview to discuss specific skills or experience. Having it readily available demonstrates preparation and allows you to highlight relevant details.

During your phone call:


It will come through in your voice and project confidence and enthusiasm. Even though the interviewer can't see you, a positive tone creates a great first impression.

Dress appropriately.

Even though it's a phone interview, dressing more appropriately can help you feel more prepared and confident. It also demonstrates respect for the interviewer and the opportunity.

Refer to your notes sparingly.

Use your notes as prompts, not a script. Speak naturally and confidently, but having key points prepared can help you stay focused and ensure you cover everything you want to.

Have a glass of water nearby.

Staying hydrated avoids voice fatigue and ensures you can speak clearly throughout the interview.

Don't be afraid to ask for clarification.

If you don't understand a question, politely ask for clarification. It's better to be sure than to answer incorrectly.

Take notes.

Jot down key points from the interview for reference later. This shows you're engaged, interested and helps you remember important details discussed.

Ask prepared questions.

Show your interest in the company and the role by asking insightful questions you prepared beforehand.

After your phone call:

Follow up/ask for the next steps.

Send a thank you email within 24 hours reiterating your interest in the position and confirming your understanding of the next steps in the recruitment process. This shows your professionalism and keeps you at the forefront of the interviewer's mind.

Video interviews

Video interviews are becoming increasingly common, offering a more interactive experience than phone interviews. They allow interviewers to assess your body language and communication style alongside your skills and experience.

Here's how to ensure your video interview is a success:

Video interview FAQs:

What is a video interview?

A video interview is a conversation conducted over a video conferencing platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meets. It allows interviewers to see you and interact with you in a more personal way compared to a phone interview.

How can I introduce myself in a video interview?

Greet the interviewer(s) warmly and professionally, just as you would in a face-to-face interview. Make eye contact with the camera, smile, and introduce yourself by your full name.

Can I look at notes during a video interview?

Yes, it's acceptable to have brief notes on hand, but avoid relying on them heavily. Make sure they are well-organised and out of the camera's view unless you need to refer to them discreetly.

How to dress for a video job interview?

Dress appropriately, just as you would for an in-person interview. First impressions matter, and dressing appropriately shows respect for the interviewer and the opportunity. A top tip here would be to do some background research on the company to get an idea for the type of dress code they have.

Can I do a video interview on my phone?

Yes, while technically possible, using a laptop or computer with a webcam will provide a more stable and professional interview experience. A larger screen allows you to see the interviewer clearly and ensures you're well-framed in the camera's view.

Can I use headphones for video interviews?

Yes, headphones can improve sound quality, so consider using them if your environment is noisy. They can also help minimise audio feedback or echoes.

How long are video interviews?

Video interview lengths can vary depending on the company and role. Typically, they range from 30 minutes to an hour.

How to prepare for a video interview?

Before your video call:

Research the company and role.

This shows your interest and helps you tailor your responses. Understanding the company culture and the position's requirements allows you to demonstrate a good fit.

Prepare answers to common interview questions.

Practice using the STAR method to effectively showcase your skills and experience. You may want to check out another blog we’ve written about the most common interview questions you’ll likely hear.

Practice your video interview skills.

Use a mock interview platform or record yourself practicing to refine your delivery and ensure you come across as confident and engaging.

Test your technology.

Ensure your webcam, microphone, and internet connection are working properly. A practice call can help identify any technical glitches you need to address beforehand. With video interviews, it’s also worth making sure you are able to use platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Meets. So, depending on the chosen platform - make sure this is all set up correctly beforehand.

Choose a quiet and well-lit location.

Find a quiet, distraction-free space with good lighting. Avoid cluttered backgrounds or busy areas that might be unprofessional. Ensure the lighting is even and not casting harsh shadows on your face.

Dress appropriately.

First impressions are crucial in video interviews, so dressing professionally is essential. Think as if you're attending an in-person interview. As we touched on previously, research the company on what their current employees wear on social media. If you are interviewing at an agency or tech start-up, it would be worth applying a smart casual attire.

Prepare a few notes.

While your CV gets you in the door, a video interview allows you to showcase your personality and fit within the company. Before your interview, take 10 minutes to jot down some key points about the company and the role. Research their mission, values, and recent news to demonstrate your genuine interest.

During your video call:

Maintain good posture and eye contact.

Sit up straight, lean in slightly, and make eye contact with the camera. This demonstrates confidence and attentiveness.

Project your voice clearly and speak at a moderate pace.

Speak clearly and avoid mumbling or rushing your answers. A moderate pace allows the interviewer to understand you easily and ensures you can convey your thoughts effectively.

Use positive body language.

Smile, nod occasionally, and avoid fidgeting. Positive body language creates a good impression and shows your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

Listen attentively.

Allow the interviewer to complete their questions before you begin speaking. This demonstrates respect and ensures you answer the question accurately.

Be enthusiastic and show your interest in the role.

Express your passion and enthusiasm for the position. Ask insightful questions that demonstrate your research and genuine interest in the company and the role.

Ask prepared questions.

Ask prepared questions: Having a list of well-thought-out questions shows initiative and interest.

After your video call:

Send a thank-you email within 24 hours.

Thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the position. Briefly mention a key point discussed during the interview to show you were engaged and attentive.

Follow up if you haven't heard back.

If you haven't heard back within the timeframe specified by the interviewer, send a polite follow-up email to express your continued interest.

We hope these tips have equipped you with the knowledge and confidence to excel in both phone and video interviews.

Remember, preparation is key. By taking the time to research the company and role, practice your responses, and ensure your technology is working properly, you can approach your interview with confidence and make a lasting positive impression.

If you are currently seeking new job opportunities, we invite you to explore the amazing jobs we are currently recruiting for. To speak with one of our experienced recruitment consultants, please get in touch with us today!