Ready for that next phone interview when searching for a new job? Here are several ways to make sure you will show your best side … even over the phone.
Have notes within reach
A phone interview invites a certain amount of apprehension, but it also gives you an opportunity to arm yourself with tools you might ordinarily not have for a face-to-face interview. Take the opportunity to have both your resume and notes on hand.
Think about common questions you’re apt to encounter and prepare for the interview accordingly. Write notes for the best responses.
Include stories you can tell, specific phrases to use … and reminders about anything that might make you nervous.
Pay attention to your appearance
Even though it’s a phone interview, you should dress up for it. Spend some time in front of the mirror. Brush your teeth. These small changes will show up in your voice and make you sound more professional.
Also, many employers are opting for video conferencing options these days, so dressing up may be necessary anyway, if a potential employer asks you to Skype.
Remember your environment
Your environment is important. Pick a place that has low or no ambient noise. Choose a location in which you feel both comfortable and professional.
Growing too relaxed or comfortable could become dangerous. If you are video conferencing with an employer, choose a background that’s bland, tidy, and shows you in the best possible light.
Get ready for vague questions
Body language is difficult to read over the phone … and even in a video conference, for that matter. This makes the process challenging even for experienced interviewers, and they may fall back on rote questions and neutral discussion points.
You may have to pick up the slack, so prepare for vague questions and get ready to supply information in enthusiastic ways, even if you aren’t sure what’s being asked or why. Accept long pauses and other hitches in the flow as natural features of phone interviews.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own
Try to ask questions of your own, both rhetorical and real. This will help the interview feel more like a conversation and allow you to learn more about the employer’s attitude and business. It will also make you seem more enthusiastic.
Don’t forget that the employer is human, too
Sometimes interviewers are uncomfortable with phone interviews themselves. This can lead to errors, frustration, and awkward moments. Do not let these things discourage you; some things will always be beyond your control, and that is as true in a job as in an interview.