Phone interviews are a common, handy way for employers to narrow the pool of job applicants when there’s not sufficient time to grant a face-to-face to every promising candidate. Those candidates who impress will move on to round two, an in-person interview. Those who don’t, well . . . you get the picture.
You can make a lasting, positive impression during this screening process and keep your name in the hat with attention to these simple steps.
- Consider the day and time to be interviewed
If given the opportunity for input, choose a day and time when you can be in a quiet place, unlikely to be interrupted, where your focus can be completely on the interview. Of course refrain from being overly picky. “Sorry, that day/time doesn’t work either…” if repeated several times will send a less than serious message about your intentions toward this job opportunity.
- Take control of your environment
Close the door to the kids and the pets. Turn off all electronic devices—the stereo, the TV, the iPad or video game. Disengage your phone’s call waiting option. Use speakerphone only if: it will not interfere with the reception quality, the possibility of interruptions is nil, and then only after you ask permission from the interviewer. Survey the room for anything that could be a distraction and remove it.
Don’t fall for the “but he/she can’t see me” reasoning that might persuade you to wear sweats, nibble on a snack or have a cigarette to calm your nerves. Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink during the interview. Go a step further and wear interview appropriate attire. Why? Because it’s natural inclination to behave more formally when dressed in business or formal attire than in sweats.
- Make preparation a priority
You would prepare in multiple ways for an in-person interview. Do the same for a telephone interview. Make sure all pertinent documents are at your fingertips. Have pen and paper handy for note taking. Practice the answer to common interview questions. Avoid “yes” and “no” responses as they tend to shorten rather than move a telephone interview forward.
- Be professional
Don’t allow the “home turf advantage” to create a casual or laidback attitude Answer the call professionally with a simple ‘Good morning, (insert name) speaking’. Address the interviewer as Miss, Mrs. or Mr. unless invited to use a first name. Balance enthusiasm and politeness with a business-like approach to conversation. And focus on listening carefully, especially if you find the lack of visual interaction distracting.
Did you know a smile can be heard? It’s absolutely true. Smiling projects an engaged, upbeat tone into the smiler’s voice. So practice smiling into a mirror while talking on the phone to become comfortable with the idea. Place a mirror in the room where you’ll be taking the call and make a point of checking on your smile during the conversation. Keep in mind that hearing will be the only sense engaged during this all-important exchange so pay attention to the tone and quality of your voice.
At B. Loehr Staffing, matching qualified candidates with job openings that fit their skills and experience is our primary focus. Allow our staffing specialists to direct you to the best career opportunities in your chosen field. Contact us today!