Presenting yourself well in a phone interview is deceptively difficult. If you thrive on using body language and a charming smile to make a strong impression in interviews, the phone can nullify your best features and knock you back on your heels. With a smaller margin for error, even minor mistakes could have a big effect on how your interviewer receives you.
There are definite advantages to being interviewed on the phone, and they shouldn't be ignored. Before you get on the phone you have the opportunity to lay out a variety of resources to give you a boost during your interview.Tweet This
With that in mind, it’s important to enter a phone interview prepared for what is about to happen. Even though it may feel less formal than an in-person interview, you still need to give yourself the best odds against the rest of the competition.
Give yourself ample prep time
An oft-overlooked advantage of having an in-person interview is the preparation process you put yourself through: taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast and walking or driving to work. While it can be tempting to roll out of bed five minutes early just to clear your throat ahead of the interview, it’s not a winning strategy — your brain will be in a fog and you won’t be putting your best foot forward.
“There is no single list of job interview questions that you can study that will allow you to be flawless. In the end, there you are likely to be surprised by the “tough question” in an interview sooner or later. Your best bet is to be prepared for the standard questions, and then tailor your preparation to the company. How, you may ask, can you tailor your preparation to a specific company? There many ways to find out specifics about company interviews. While every interviewer will ask different questions, there are some questions and styles that are standard for some companies. Read on.” – 4 Ways to Ace Your Job Interview
Waking up, eating and moving around, by contrast, will get you active and energized and help you feel ready for that phone interview. And even though you might not be concerned about your attire, it can have an effect on how you present yourself even when you can’t be seen.
Set up supporting materials
There are definite advantages to being interviewed on the phone, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Before you get on the phone you have the opportunity to lay out a variety of resources to give you a boost during your interview. Lay out your résumé, talking points, information about your prospective employer — anything that could help you sound more intelligent and on-the-ball.
Call up valuable Internet resources and have your cover letter on-hand in case the interviewer asks questions regarding it. You could also make a list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the conversation.
Stutters and gaps of silence can be crushing in an in-person interview, where you’re expected to have all your answers to questions banked in your head. There’s even less of an excuse for it on the phone, so don’t get arrogant and think you’re above supporting materials. They can never hurt. Of course, nowadays a phone interview might take place over Skype or even a conference call that puts you in conversation with multiple managers. All the more reason to be prepared with materials and if it’s a video call, make sure you don’t look down at your notes too often.
Pick the right scene and be mindful of your tone
It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it — and what else is heard in the background. Barking dogs and crying kids are always an unwelcome distraction. Set up in a quiet room and make sure all distractions are eliminated. Get a babysitter, if necessary, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.
And in that quiet, distraction-free setting, be mindful of your tone. Your words are important, but if the interviewer can detect any negative qualities in your tone, it can be a major turnoff. Make sure you sound uplifting and positive at all times throughout the interview.
By putting in a little extra legwork ahead of the interview, you can save yourself from many of the pitfalls that your fellow interviewees might be subject to. Employers know the signs of a good candidate vs. a bad one even over the phone, so don’t be blind to the observable factors that can make or break your interview.