When it comes to arriving at a standard job interview, it’s easy to feel like you’re off to a positive start – you’ve arrived on time, dressed to impress, practiced your smile, and perfected your firm handshake. Who else could be as prepared as you? However, when it comes to interviewing over the phone, all bets are off.
Since phone interviews are often used to further narrow down the candidate pool, typically only last for about 15-20 minutes, and allow little capacity for body language, imparting a positive first impression over the phone can be a more daunting task than doing so in-person. However, following through with these four steps will give you the confidence you need to impress any hiring manager every time you pick up the phone.
While it is in no way necessary, dressing like you would dress for an interview at the office can actually help get you into the professional mindset necessary for success. After all, it may raise some major red flags if the interviewer can tell you aren’t focused on or mentally prepared for the conversation.
To ensure you can communicate clearly and coherently with the hiring manager, eliminate any and all distractions and potential for technical glitches. For instance, make sure you hold the interview in a place that is quiet and gets good reception. Loud background noises may detract from your answers, while a loss of service can prematurely cut the interview short.
In the same vein, do whatever it takes to remain focused for the entirety of the interview. Without your interviewer being able to see you, it may be tempting to check your email, but try your best to avoid distractions like this.
One of the advantages of phone interviews is that you can have a cheat sheet. Prior to the phone call, jot down any relevant information about the company, details about position, some talking points, and any questions you plan on asking. This way, if you get nervous or forget what you want to say, you can refer to your notes.
While this may seem counterintuitive, you should smile and make any other gestures you normally would during an in-person conversation. This will allow your personality to shine through, allowing you to sound more confident and interested in learning more about the opportunity.
Though phone interviews can be nerve wracking, if you remember to review these tips prior to the call, you should find yourself well on your way to landing an in-person interview!