Job interviews are stressful and overwhelming regardless of the venue or medium. A phone interview is no exception. Whether it’s the first or the third interview, speaking to a recruiter or potential employer over the phone should be taken just as seriously as a face to face interview.
But the rules of engagement are obviously different with a phone interview. On the one hand, the physical anonymity of talking to someone on the phone as opposed to in person can be a relief for nervous and more introverted candidates. You don’t have to worry about maintaining eye contact for a reasonable and appropriate amount of time, the firmness of a handshake, or keeping awkward or off-putting body language in check. On the other hand, the opportunities to make a good impression over the phone are more limited than in person.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make a lasting impression on your next phone interview.
While you don’t have to put on a suit or book a conference room for a phone interview with a recruiter or a company you’re interested in working for, you will have to convey a professional tone and demeanor – which for starters means no loud coffee shop chatter or children screaming in the background if you take the call from home.
One of the advantages of taking an interview over the phone (assuming it isn’t a video chat, obviously) is that your interviewer can’t see what you’re doing during the call, which can make it tempting to give in to distractions like surfing the internet, scrolling through social media on another device, or doing your research on the fly. Resist the temptation at all costs. You WILL come across as distracted and/or worse – uninterested in the position. Prepare for the interview and do your research beforehand as you would for a face to face interview and give the call your full attention.
Limit the temptation to give in to distractions by clearing your desk of everything but paper and pen to take notes or disable the Wi-Fi on any additional devices for the duration of the call.
It might sound like a cliché, but over the phone, your voice is your instrument. The interviewer will have nothing else to go on but the impression you make over the phone, so you will have to do less with more. Consider doing a practice call or two with a friend or family member to make sure that your voice is steady, strong, and conveys confidence and professionalism, especially if you are prone to nervous laughter or chatter when you’re anxious or stressed.
Without the benefit of your interviewer’s reactions and social cues in real time, it can be difficult to gauge how well (or not) the interview is going, and to maintain a steady flow. Try to follow their lead, ask relevant questions – and let the interviewer answer.
Showing your personality over the phone can be difficult, but you don’t want to come across as a robot. Be prepared and work to keep your nerves in check but let your interviewer “see” who you are to get a leg up on the competition.
After the call, follow the same protocol as you would with an in-person interview to reinforce your professionalism and interest in the position and the company.
For more tips and tricks on nailing your interview, contact our experts or call us at (918)-584-7900.