Best telephone interview tips
Before you get to go to the face-to-face interview, you’ll probably have to go through a cheaper, easier (for them) phone interview to prove you are worth the time, trouble and expense of a longer conversation. Here are the top phone interview tips to make sure you get your chance to prove your worth in person.
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1. Concentrate on your voice. Sound confident, express yourself clearly and think about sounding like someone who looks and acts professional. Without body language, professional attire and your physical demeanor, the interviewer only has your voice to judge you by and how you handle yourself verbally.
2. Have all of your notes in front of you. You should always have your resume, cover letters, names of references, and key points you want to add right there at your disposal.
3. Prepare for interview questions. Know what kind of questions you will be asked in this short format interview before they call. Remember, this is not the same as a face-to-face interview and the questions are likely going to be more general. They are probably looking at your resume as they speak to you and verifying the information through questions like, “Tell me a little about your experience.” (However, you still have to prepare for this interview to avoid making interview mistakes.)
4. Watch your language. Avoid using sarcasm or making jokes in which your body language and facial expressions are required. They cannot see you and what may seem funny to you with your quizzical expression may not go over well at all with the person who cannot see you on the other end of the line.
5. Stand up while you talk. Your posture and movement will affect your enthusiasm and your voice will project better.
6. Focus on the interview. Don’t busy yourself with other things in your environment. Just because they can’t see you doesn’t mean they won’t be able to tell you’re distracted.
7. Use a landline to avoid having any issues with poor reception. If you have to use a cell phone, be sure the phone interview is set up for a time when you know you will have access to a quiet place that is guaranteed to have a good signal. There should be minimal distractions and outside noise such as barking dogs, nearby construction or the beeping of car horns.
8. Never use your speakerphone. We often talk on speakerphone to keep our hands free to drive or do other things. This level of distraction is not what you need during an interview that is your gateway to a face-to-face meeting with a hiring manager.
9. Don’t get too chatty or talk yourself in circles. The interviewer is likely taking notes as you speak and may not be focusing on responding to all your points. These silent moments are not your cue to continue babbling on. Be comfortable with the silent moments and allow the interviewer to make the next move after you have finished answering the question completely but concisely.
10. Ask for the next step, just like you would in a face-to-face. When the interview is wrapping up, let them know what times and dates you are available for a face-to-face interview. You will be able to get an immediate impression about how you stand at the end of the phone interview if you ask this. It commits them to deciding if they want to proceed with the process or not and will give you idea about how they felt about the conversation.