How To Handle a Phone Interview
Phone interviews have become a common technique to determine which candidates will continue with the interview process. In other instances, they can replace an actual in-person interview. Indeed, they are very important in the hiring process as the interviewer can decide to hire you based on them. Here are some important tips that you should follow to be successful in phone interviews.
Adhere to the time that you said you’ll be available for the call. Recruiters and prospective employers are busy people with several candidates to call. The worst impression that you can give them is that you don’t value their time and schedule. If you tell them to call at a specific time when you’re free, make sure that you pick the phone.
Give the interviewer your full attention. Ensure that you aren’t interrupted by your kids, pets, and roommates. If you normally have tasks running in the background like dishwashers and vacuuming, make sure they are turned off. Tell any possible distractors like spouses and roommates that you’re doing an interview so that they don’t barge in right when you’re explaining why you’re a good fit for the organization.
The mistake that many people do is to take phone interviews lightly compared to in-person ones. In the latter, you’re more organized with a briefcase and can explain any question asked with supporting documents. Do the same for phone interviews. Have your resume and documents in front of you so that when your potential interviewer asks a question, you sound polished and confident when answering.
Another common mistake from phone interviewees is lacking professionalism. Just as you would practice an in-person interview with a friend or with your mirror, do the same with your phone interview. Don’t mumble as that makes you look unprofessional and uncertain of your abilities. Don’t space out when talking to your interviewer. Remember that the interviewer can’t see you and thus doesn’t have the privilege of judging you on other criteria like eye contact and body language. Indeed, the way you speak on the phone is the only criteria to judge your professionalism, so make sure that you give it your best shot.
Whatever you do, don’t talk to the interviewer while chewing gum. Not only does it make you sound uninterested, but it also comes off as very unprofessional. Anything that you wouldn’t do in a one-on-one interview shouldn’t be done over the phone. If you can dress up like you usually would for a typical interview, do it. That alone might help you take it seriously and improve your attitude.
A standard mistake with phone interviews is people forgetting to provide follow up. Don’t just hang up after the interviewer says the interview is over. Tell the interviewer that you appreciate the interview and reiterate to him or her of the interest that you have in the job. Let them know that you hope to hear soon from them regarding the interview. That phone call can determine whether the interview process continues or dies on the spot. Treat it as if it’s an in-person interview. Confidence, attention, and preparedness will help you ace that interview.