Successful Phone Interview Tips
Phone interviews can be the most dreaded type of meeting for applicants. Often awkward and impersonal, the lack of face-to-face communication can prevent your charming personality from shining. We asked our recruiters for their advice and here are their best tips for having a great phone interview:
SIT IN A PRIVATE SPACE
When you answer the call for your interview, make sure you are in a private area that eliminates background noise. Noise from the radio, television, or other people talking can make it difficult for your interviewer to hear you. Background noise can also be a distraction when you are trying to answer questions.
DON’T USE A SPEAKER PHONE
Speaker phones are often hard to hear and can capture outside noise more easily.
DON’T DRIVE DURING YOUR INTERVIEW
If you’re moving from place to place, there is a higher chance your call will be dropped, and your interview will end sooner than intended. Besides, driving in traffic increases the chance you will become distracted from the interview or, worse, distracted from the road.
Act like the interviewer is right in front of you. You want to seem interested in the position and conversation. Stand in front of a mirror during your interview so you can imagine talking to someone live. Express your sincere interest in the conversation by using the same verbal and auditory cues you would in person.
DON’T RUSH THE CALL
When you schedule the interview, make sure you don’t have a commitment immediately following the call to prevent rushing. If you abruptly end the call, the interviewer may think you are not entirely interested in the position. Also, having an eye on the clock could make you more nervous and appear not engaged. Give yourself plenty of wiggle room so you will be relaxed and calm.
HAVE YOUR RESUME IN FRONT OF YOU
When an interviewer calls you, he/she is most likely going to be looking at your resume during your conversation. You want to make sure you are literally on the same page, and that your responses to the interviewer’s questions match your resume.
DON’T REPEAT YOUR RESUME VERBATIM
Don’t just recite the facts that are on your resume when the interviewer asks you questions. An interview is your chance to elaborate and give additional details that you couldn’t include on your resume due to space constraints. Give the interviewer insight into you as a person and more background on your experience and professional aspirations with the company.
Be sure to speak loudly, clearly, and slowly, as phone connections can be spotty. Also, don’t get upset if the interviewer asks you to repeat something. Often interviewers are taking notes or typing as you speak, and you want to make sure they catch everything you say.
Just like the way you dress is essential in an in-person interview, so is the way you talk during a phone interview. Speak professionally, avoiding slang and colloquial phrases. If the interviewer thinks you speak professionally, he/she will think of you as a professional.
Dressing for a phone interview may seem silly since the interviewer won’t see you, but people often act the way they are dressed. If you are looking your best, you will be more likely to respond and sound more confident and professional during your phone interview.
BE PREPARED WITH QUESTIONS
Research the company and the position to which you are applying before your interview, so you will have plenty of questions to ask. By posing questions about the company and role, you will appear both engaged and interested in the company. However, when asking questions, make sure you save questions on salary and benefits for a later conversation. A phone interview is a time to let the employer get to know you and whether he/she wants to consider you for the role.
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