How to Ace the Phone Interview
Jeff Hindenach | LedgerLink
Select a Quiet Place for the Interview
Most phones pick up ambient noise around you better than you’d think, so try to keep your environment as quiet as possible. Turn the TV and radio off. Keep the kids out of the room. Make sure there is no loud traffic or sirens that could disturb your phone call. If the interviewer has to ask about a random sound or you feel need to explain it, not only will it disrupt the flow of the interview, but will also make it look like you aren’t taking the interview seriously.
Avoid Any Interruptions
Distractions are the easiest way to fumble a phone interview. At a face-to-face interview, it’s just you and the interviewer, and there’s nothing to distract you from your answers. But from behind a telephone, any number of things can be going on. Make sure you are free of distractions. Don’t try to multi-task. Turn off your call waiting. If you seem distracted during the interview, it shows you are not taking it seriously.
Dress to Impress
Even though you aren’t meeting face-to-face, it’s a good idea to dress as though you were. Interviewing in your PJs may make you feel too relaxed and comfortable, which could cause you to drop your guard and soften your answers. Dress up to give the event a sense of importance and professionalism.
Take Advantage of the Phone Interview
The advantage of a phone interview is the interviewer can’t see what you are doing behind the phone. Use that to your advantage. Have a copy of your resume and several notes on hand, including the job description, so you can refer to them during the interview. Use your laptop to look at the company’s website (but make sure you turn the speakers off!) Have a glass of water on hand in case you get dry mouth. Create an environment that you are most comfortable with to optimize your performance.
Although you are hidden from the interviewer during a phone interview, it doesn’t give you license to slack. Use the phone interview as practice for the formal interview. Keep everything professional and be as prepared as possible, and you are sure to land the follow-up interview.