Phone interviews are the worst: Embracing the video conference interview

by in Best Practices, Cloud, Lifesize, People, Trends

Job hunting — everyone goes through it, and while some experiences are more rigorous than others with in-group settings or lengthy scavenger hunts, the goal is always to learn more about what the person on the other end has to offer. By far the most common first interviews I’ve encountered have been by phone or video. And while phone interviews might seem like the less stressful kind, nonverbal communication goes a long way in a video interview, especially in the early stages of the interviewing process.

Nonverbal communication is the combination of all the things you say when you’re not actually speaking. Things like your gestures, facial expressions, posture and tone of voice often say more than an entire paragraph of sentences. The nonverbal cues you pick up on in a video conferencing interview versus a phone interview can make or break an awesome job offer that’s just a fingertip’s length away. 

Here are the top reasons that nonverbal communication in a video interview trumps phone interviews and some tips for making a great impression over video:

1) Being on the phone gives you a sort of anonymity that can lead to distraction. 
From checking your email to collecting all the gum wrappers from the bottom of your purse, a distracted interview on either side of the table is not beneficial. When you can make eye contact with someone and put a friendly face to a name, it’s much easier to capture and keep their attention to show them how qualified you are for the position.

2) Smiling! People don’t want to work with a jerk, and it can be challenging to convey happiness over the phone without an excessive use of inflection, which in turn makes you sound like a Care Bear. Facial expressions allow you to express interest and understanding of the material being presented in a genuine way that doesn’t come across as overkill.

3) Confidence is key. So maybe you exaggerated a little on the resume that landed you the interview, but you know what you’re capable of and you can let this interviewer know that with your posture. Good posture conveys confidence, so when you’re sitting up straight during that video call, it’s that much easier to show your future employer how poised and proficient you are.

4) You control your environment! With video conferencing, candidates can meet face to face with hiring managers for the first time in their comfort zone. Plus, you can emphasize key traits of your personality that may otherwise go unnoticed. Want to showcase your organizational skills? Set your video call up so your color-coded bookshelf is your backdrop. Did a quick Google search and discovered that you and your possible boss-to-be share a love for music? Prop that guitar up behind you. I’m not saying that you should hang up pennants and cover the walls with memorabilia of his or her favorite sports team, but subtle staging can’t hurt!


Video interviews can dramatically enhance the job search from both sides of the table. A solution like the Lifesize app is simple and intuitive to operate, and it provides a flawless guest experience and lifelike video quality that makes it feel like you’re meeting face to face. When it comes to interviewing via video, embrace nonverbal communication. You’ll be more engaging, enlightening and personal than you would be by phone — plus, it gives you another reason to bust out that blazer you got just for interviews. Happy job hunting!