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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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4.3 Special situations

Photo of a man wearing a headset in front of a computer monitor, talking on the phone.
Figure 5 Phone interview

Certain situations will require you to make some more specific preparation.

Phone interviews

When preparing for a phone interview it is important to consider:

  • Location – find a quiet place for the interview, where you will be undisturbed by noise or others.
  • Phone choice – make sure phone batteries are fully charged and you have a strong signal if using a mobile phone.
  • Your key messages – write key attributes down and have this available during the phone call.

Skype or video interviews

More recently, there has been an increase in Skype or video interviews. As with telephone interviews location is important and as is checking your equipment is working beforehand. Remember to dress appropriately and check what else will be in the shot before the interview begins.

Academic interviews

Instead of a job interview, you may be applying to do an educational course vital to the next stage of your career. In this situation, the general interview guidelines apply, but you should also familiarise yourself with the entry requirements. You need to be prepared to talk in detail about the content of your previous study. For a vocational course, identify specific examples of experience you have gained through related employment.

Unexpected or ‘hidden’ interviews

Sometimes work opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways leaving little time to prepare. It might be that a network contact is able to set up a meeting at short notice or a company you approached, speculatively calls to say they are interested in meeting you to discuss opportunities. In such cases it is important to take along an up to date CV, and to be able to give a brief statement about yourself. The summary at the top of your CV or LinkedIn profile is one which you can adapt and rehearse.

In the next sections you’ll develop a clear personal profile and from this a summary you might use in an interview, whether expected or not.