Lock in the Job! 5 Ways to Rock the Dreaded Phone Interview
These days, phone calls and smart phones are an everyday part of the job interviewing process. In fact, an Accountemps survey last week showed that: 81% of managers cited phone calls as an appropriate way to express thanks after meeting with a hiring manager. And similarly, recruiters and hiring managers are using phone interview screenings more and more. It is estimated that more than half of all first interviews take place over the phone.
But phone interviews can put the candidate at a disadvantage. Interviewers don’t have a sense of obligation and investment in the process. After all, it’s just a phone call, not a meeting. Interviewers also can’t see reactions and samples. On the other hand, phone screens make the interviewer focus on what is being said without any distractions.
The good news is that job seekers can, with a little practice, make a phone screen a big win for them. Here’s how:
1. Prepare. Don’t think preparation is not necessary just because it’s not an in-person interview. Prep for one just like you would for a meeting. Have a story or example for each point you make. Make sure these stories are concise.
2. Place. Try to use a land-line and be in a quiet place. Mobile phones can be unclear and if you are using one, let the interviewer know. Make sure you are alone, in a quiet room. Have a glass of water handy and a pad and pen or laptop for notes.
3. Stand. When you stand, your energy is higher than when sitting. Smile, as it changes your tone of voice and will make a more favorable impression.
4. Time. If the call surprises you, tell the interviewer that it’s not a convenient time. Ask the interviewer how much time they have so you know how to pace the call.
5. Listen. You can’t see the interviewer, so you can look for non-verbal clues. Listen to the questions and answer them concisely. Take notes of what was asked.
Before the end of the call, ask the interviewer if they need any additional information and what the next step in the process will be. Despite the Accountemps survey, make sure to get a thank you note out immediately stating that you are interested in the position and why. That will help you stand out from the competition.