In-person interviews are the most common way for an employer to see if a particular individual would be the right fit for an open job position. However, phone interviews do still happen from time to time. While most people would think that this type of an interview would be much easier to handle, it can actually be much harder.
Just as there are certain dos and don’ts for conducting oneself during a traditional in-person interview, the same can also be said for telephone interviews.
Tip #1: Set the Stage
Although phone interviews aren’t as formal as meeting with a potential employer face-to-face, this event still needs to be treated as such and taken seriously. That being said, once you know the date and time the call is going to take place, make sure you arrange a special area where you won’t be interrupted.
It is important that the place where you’ll take your call is quiet. That means no television or radio on in the background, dogs barking nearby, etc.
If you live with roommates or at home with other family members, let them know in advance of the day and time that you’ll be on your phone interview. Ask that they not disturb you until you are done, no matter what.
Tip #2: Landlines Are Better Than Cell Phones
Not everyone has landlines these days but if you happen to live somewhere that has one, it’s better to provide that number for your phone interview.
The reason for this is because although landlines are considered “old school,” unlike cell phones, they won’t drop your call because of a bad reception area. The last thing you want is to lose your call in the middle of the interview.
If you live in an area where you know your cell phone reception is poor, look into having access to a landline.
Tip #3: Be Prepared
It isn’t advisable to “wing it” during a telephone interview. Cover all your bases by having a copy of your resume and any other relevant documents in front of you that you can easily skim over during your interview. Having answers in front of you will jog your memory better and prevent the dreaded “Ummmm” response.
Also have info about the employer/company in front of you as well. Spruce up on your knowledge about the company prior to the interview for good measure. It also doesn’t hurt to have a copy of their job description handy for reference.
Tip #4: Take Your Time
The advantage of doing a telephone interview is that the employer can’t see you. Even if you feel nervous, don’t rush through the call. After being asked a question, take a quick beat to process what you’ve been asked and take your time explaining your answer. Don’t forget to breathe!
Tip #5: Smile While You Talk
Believe it or not, it’s easy to tell when a person is smiling or not based on the sound/tone of their voice. When you smile as you talk, it will cause your voice to come across as naturally confident, eager and excited, which will go over well with the interviewer.