Phone interviews are notoriously difficult for the simple reason that the interviewer can’t see you. So much of how we communicate is through gestures and expressions and those have no meaning at all on the phone. But phone interview or not, it’s still vitally important that you project an image that will make them want to move you forward to the next step.
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Just like in any job interview, you need your image to be one of competence, professionalism, and enthusiasm. So how do you do that when you only have your voice to do it with? You have a lot more options that you probably realize.
Be More Than Ready for This Interview
Interviewers can tell if you’ve done your homework before the interview or not. It’s painfully obvious which candidates only read the job description but didn’t read anything about the company and don’t actually know much about the job. Research the company, research the interviewer, prepare some answers for common interview questions, and have questions of your own to ask. Be just as ready for a phone interview as you would for a face-to-face.
Be Ready to Start Early
Be ready to start your call at least 5 minutes before it’s supposed to start. Be sitting in your quiet room with the door closed, your glass of water on the desk, all your cheat sheets spread out, and doing some deep, relaxing breathing. When it’s time for the interview, you will sound calm, cool, and collected. And if they try the tactic that some interviewers do of calling early to try to catch you off guard, you’ll be ready for them. It will impress them.
Keep Your Cheat Sheets Handy
You only have a very limited time to secure the face-to-face interview. You need to make your case quickly and succinctly. You don’t want to be wasting time trying to think of what it is that you want to say, or worse, having to stop and look something up. One of the great advantages of phone interviews is being able to keep your notes in front of you. Use it.
Use Your Voice to Project Enthusiasm
You’re projecting competence and confidence with your actual answers to interview questions, but you can project enthusiasm with your voice. Enthusiasm is more important than you might realize. Hiring managers are people, too. They want to work with someone who’s going to be happy to be there. So smile, think about projecting a positive attitude, and above all, tell them how excited you are about this opportunity.
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