Greetings from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!
Just a few short months ago, I applied for an internship here at Disney World at the Disney College Program. I completed a web-based application and was then scheduled a phone interview. My head was spinning with confusion after the phone interview was scheduled, because I had never done an interview over the phone before. I have a very outgoing, cheerful personality, and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to relay those characteristics over the phone.
I sat down with my roommates here at Disney World and talked to them about their own phone interviews and some tips they would give to those preparing for an interview over the phone.
If you already have a phone interview set-up, or are in search of a job where you could potentially have an interview over the phone, here are some tips from our Disney College Program experiences to ensure that you are successful:
- Make notes ahead of time & take notes during: My roommates, Maddie and Amanda, say writing down potential questions and answers before the interview proved to be most beneficial to them. They both wrote down short bullet points in regards to common interview questions such as “Why are you applying for this internship?” and “What would you say your number one skill is?” This can be helpful in all interviews, however, over the phone you have an advantage and are able to have the notes in front of you, so making sure they are well written and thought out can be helpful. Dana Schwartz, of Come Recommended Blog, also suggests using a hands-free device in order to take notes on important key points during the interview.
- Call a friend ahead of time to practice your interview on the phone: Being on the phone forces a barrier between you and the person on the other line. Something that my roommates and I all did was call a friend and have them ask us potential questions, not only to practice responding to the questions, but also to see how our voices sounded and were coming off over the phone. This can also be beneficial if you have a phone interview scheduled early in the morning, like I did. If your voice tends to be fairly scratchy when you wake up, waking up an hour or two before the scheduled interview time to call a friend and practice can relieve that scratchiness in your voice. (I called a friend the night before to practice, but didn’t call anyone the morning of my interview, so I hadn’t talked to anyone yet and my voice was still a little scratchy. It was frustrating to me throughout the interview, as I’m sure it was for my interviewer as well.)
- Treat it like an in-person interview: Without the interviewer physically with you, it can be easy to lose that sense of professionalism. Dressing up as you would for an in-person interview can boost your confidence and ensure you are not losing that professionalism. The Come Recommended Blog also states that using a hands-free device can additionally allow you to use gestures that you normally would, helping you feel more natural and comfortable while on the phone.
In addition to phone interviews, our modern advances in technology have also caused a rise in interviews conducted over Skype. Skype interviews allow you to showcase a little more than phone interviews, but there are still some key tips to keep in mind:
- Being familiar with proper webcam etiquette, such as looking at the camera rather than the screen and sitting up straight
- Speaking slowly and clearly because of freezes and stalls that webcams sometimes endure
- Being in a location with few visual distractions for the interviewer, such as a room with a solid background behind you
Whether you have a phone or Skype interview scheduled, or may have one in the future, the most important thing, like during in-person interviews, is to relax and be yourself! You want the interviewer to get a sense of who you are and how you will fit in with their company. On the phone and over Skype it may be a little more difficult, but with these tips and the right preparation, you will be just as successful as if you were in-person!
OSU Career Services offers a convenient room and webcam set-up if you need a place for your phone or Skype interview!
Come Recommended Blog
Posted by Erica Evans, Career Services Assistant and currently interning at Walt Disney World in the Disney College Program