Phone Interview Tips
Impress Your Interviewer Over the Phone
The dynamic of the modern work world is changing. Telecommuting has become more common and because of this, the phone interview has also increased in popularity. There are many things you should consider and prepare for before starting a phone interview. There are many websites out there full of basic common sense phone interview tips. We looked beyond those sites to find the best tips to impress your interviewer over the phone.
- Avoid interviewing on your cell phone – The technology that allows us to use cell phones is fantastic, but not necessarily for a job interview. You don’t want the call to drop off in the middle of an important question. JobInterviewWisdom.com recommends never doing an interview in the car or when you’re out and about. “This is a life-changing moment and you need to be in a place where you can focus and minimize distractions.”
- Be prepared – It’s the Boy Scout motto and it will also help you succeed on a phone interview. Make sure you don't smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink during the interview. Keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth. You should also change your voicemail greeting in preparation for a job interview. On the off chance that you miss your interviewer’s call, you don’t want them to hear the goofy family greeting you recorded last summer.
- NEVER answer call waiting – A phone interview should take no more than 30-40 minutes. No other calls are as important during this time. If possible, disable call waiting. If not, DO NOT answer any other calls that come in during the interview. “When you hop off the phone to grab another call, you're basically telling the interviewer that their call isn't that important to you,” says JobInterviewWisdom.com.
- Give concise answers – In a phone interview, it’s best to stick to the point. One-Stop-Career-Center.com suggests giving “short, clear answers to questions. Keep your answers to about 90 seconds each. This is easier with practice and emphasizes the importance of early preparation. Go ahead, time yourself in practice!”
- Be Prepared to Answer These Questions – This list of the top 10 phone interview questions is a very good place to begin preparing. Go over these questions and be prepared to answer them.
- Closing the Conversation – Just as you would in any interview, it’s important to thank your interviewer. Close the call with a note of appreciation and if not disclosed earlier in the conversation a question about the next steps in the interview process or timelines for feedback.
- Noise. Be sure you are in a quiet place, free from background noise and interruptions. Turn off music, TV. etc.
- Notes. Have a pad of paper and pen handy to take notes with.
- Job Description. Print a copy of the job description and mark up or highlight any areas for exploration or particular questions you may have based on the information provided.
- Resume. Print a copy of your resume and have it available for review in case the interviewer makes reference to something specific on it.
- Be Prepared Part 2. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer as outlined above specific to the work/role.
- Tone. Pay attention to the tone of voice and pace of speech. Think to yourself "speak slowly".
- Confidence. Stand up when speaking or "smile" through the phone. Both techniques are intended to help you project your confidence.
- Notes Part 2. Immediately following your phone interview, jot down notes about your interest in the job, questions you are unsure of your "success rate" in answering and anything else that may be pertinent as an after-thought.
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