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They are efficient and inexpensive tools. So more than ever before, phones and webcams are employer favs for interviewing potential employees and interns. Update your Skyping skills.   Dust off your Google Plus account. Get ready to be interviewed by teleconference.

There’s good news about remote interviewing…

  1. You get to have notes in front of you – your resume, info you’ve gathered about the organization, a list of experiences and skills you want to communicate, and questions for the interviewer.
  2. You get to wear comfy clothes. Although, one candidate told me that he performs better in interview attire, even though his interviewer can’t see him. Exception here: interview clothes are a must for a video interview!

The down side?

You don’t get the non-verbal cues that tell you how you are being received.   Is your interviewer rolling her eyes or nodding in agreement? All the more reason to build up your confidence before the phone rings. Here are some tips for doing just that…

Get Ready

I can’t stress this enough. There is an art and a strategy to interviewing well, and most of us aren’t born masters of either one. One student told me that she would prefer to bomb important interviews and receive no offers, than to practice interviewing and receive critical feedback! Don’t be that girl. Get honest and supportive commentary about what you’re doing right, in addition to what (and how) you can improve. Schedule a mock interview with UCS; I guarantee it’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

Get the endorphins flowing.
What do you do when you want to feel energized, yet relaxed? Dance to Kelly Clarkson power tunes? (My personal favorite). Run three miles? Meditate in your happy place? Do it. It’ll clear your head and calm the nerves.

Interview in a quiet place.
Roommates and friends gotta go. Put out the DO NOT DISTURB sign.

Raise your laptop a few inches.
The screen will show your face straight on, which is more flattering than the view from beneath your chin.


Stand up…throughout a telephone interview, if possible. Doing so will help you project energy and reduce the risk of sounding too casual, a consideration when you’re communicating by phone.

Smile…a lot. Positivity and enthusiasm, crucial in an interview, will show in your telephone voice and your video face.

Use a landline and temporarily disable call waiting on a phone interview. Dropped calls and bad connections can worsen a case of nerves and frustrate your interviewer.

Send a thank you email or letter. Make a point you forgot to make, reiterate the reasons you’re a good fit for the internship, and acknowledge the recruiter taking time to talk with you. Doing so will mark you as the professional you are.

A modified version of this article appeared on, February 2014

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