(1) You don’t have very much time to make a good impression. Phone interviews are very often over within 10-15 minutes. If you make a mistake, you don’t have much time to recover.
(2) You can’t see the other person’s face, so you don’t have any idea if they’re smiling, nodding, or frowning at something you’re saying. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we depend on those visual cues to interpret how well the conversation is going.
And (3), you have nothing to rely on but your voice to help you sell yourself for the job…no brag book, no 30/60/90-day plan, not even your smiling, friendly face. Just your voice. Nervous yet? Don’t be.
Here are 3 tips that will help you build your confidence so you can have a great phone interview.
1. Dress in a Killer Outfit—Even Though It’s Only a Phone Interview
The clothes we put on have a major impact on how we behave. I have a friend who’s noticed that the days she wears her boots, she’s got a little more strut in her step than if she’s kicking around in her tennis shoes. (BTW…take a look around one day and see how many people shuffle their feet when they wear flip flops.) You’d think this stuff doesn’t matter, but it really does.
The idea is, if you want to make sure you behave and sound like a professional, you should dress like a professional. It will put you in the right frame of mind and help you focus. Put on a suit that makes you feel fantastic. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s the same one you’ll wear to the face-to-face interview. They can’t see it, after all.
Don’t wear something that’s too tight or doesn’t fit well. It will make you uncomfortable and it will show up in your voice.
Please make sure that whatever you wear is something you feel comfortable and confident in. If you feel it, you will act it. It will come across even over the phone.
2. Be Prepared
Do all your pre-interview research, list out the questions you want to ask, and even write down some key points you want to make. The more you can do, the more prepared you will be and the more confident you will feel. You will feel like you’re ready for whatever they can throw at you.
3. Be Organized
Go old-school and lay out all your papers on your desk in front of you—your resume, your question list, your notes, everything. Don’t try keeping everything all on the computer screen in front of you. Print it out so you can lay hands on it quickly without clicking around to find it. It’s faster and more reliable. What if your computer freezes up? You can certainly have the company’s website up, and maybe another site or two in other tabs, but for the most part, play it safe and keep your most important documents safely in front of you on your desk.
If you’d like to practice your interview answers with professional feedback, or you need help with specific answers, I’d love to work with you as your interview coach.