Gap Inc.

September 22, 2017

A virtual interview is often the first step in the interview process and making a good impression is important, but doing it over the phone isn’t always easy. How can you truly be yourself and put your best foot forward without an in-person meet and greet? We asked our recruiters for their best tips. Here’s what they said:

Do your research.
It seems obvious, but prep for your phone interview the same way you would for an in-person interview – by getting familiar with the job description (if you haven’t already) and researching the company. If you’re interviewing with us, this should include a trip to one of our stores to see what we’re up to. (We’re product-obsessed so we look for those who are just as passionate.)

Set up a designated interview spot.
Nothing disrupts a good interview like loud, unexpected noises in the background. Look for a quiet spot away from busy streets and other distractions. As convenient as they might be, we’d avoid coffee shops or the like. If you’re preparing for a video interview, make sure your designated space is well lit and free of clutter. Give your webcam and other equipment a test run so you avoid any technical difficulties once the interview starts.

Don’t rush it.
Make sure that you set aside at least 30 minutes for the interview so you don’t feel rushed. You may even want to ask the recruiter how long you should expect the interview to take so you’re 100% sure. There’s nothing worse than the recruiter feeling like you don’t really have time to interview for a job you pursued.

Get comfortable, but not too comfortable.
Ditch your work-from-home leisurely attire and put on an outfit that makes you feel confident, even though no one may be able to see it. We’d also recommend using headphones so you can gesture as you normally would in a live interview.

Be present.
Pay attention to social cues. But how? Try to pause between responses and avoid run-on sentences. Having a natural conversation will allow you to speak at a normal speed and in a clear manner. It also doesn’t hurt to check with the interviewer to see if you answered their question fully or need to clarify further. And don’t forget to smile! This is especially important in a video interview as the interviewer will be able to see your gestures and facial expressions.

Be yourself.
Bring your skills and accomplishments to center stage. Talk about how your experience applies to the role and anything unique you could bring to the role or company. Having a point of view will make you stand out amongst other candidates.

Ask questions.
Be prepared with questions for the interviewer – and think outside the box. Having trouble coming up with unique questions? Check out six great questions our recruiters love.

Don’t forget to say “thank you.”
Yes, thank you notes still matter – and email will do. Make sure to follow up with a quick thank you note to the interviewer. Keep it short and sweet but call out specific details of the call that highlight why you’re interested and qualified for the job.


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