Phone interviews are the enemy of the unpracticed applicant. They are completed en masse by a hiring manager that wants nothing more than to hang up the phone and eat a donut. This is not a second interview. This is a phone interview. The employer isn’t close to hiring you, they are close to throwing your application in the “no” pile and taking an unnecessary bathroom break.
So you need to have the best phone interview possible, because unless you can wow the person on the phone, there is a good chance you are not getting a phone call for an in person interview later. Here are several ways to ensure your phone interview is fantastic.
Phone Job Interview Tips
- Schedule Your Day
Take a lot of time to make sure you are ready for the call. Make sure no one is going to be around, that you are in a room that is completely quiet, organize any files you need ahead of time and make sure you have eaten and had coffee. You want to be ready, so that the moment they call you, you are at the top of your game. Figure out where to put your dog while you’re at it lest it bark during questions about your ability to plan things.
- Stand and Stare at Something
Your voice gives away inaudible tips about what you are doing. If you are sitting and slouching in a chair, the interviewer is going to hear the change in your tone. If you stand, you project, which makes you sound more confident and intelligent. However, you also do not want to get distracted, which is why it is important you keep your gaze at something non-distracting. Some experts recommend a mirror so that you can “look at someone” during your interview, but anything that won’t cause distractions is useful.
- Plan a Cheat Sheet
It’s a bad idea to read directly from notes, but if you know you have some points you would like to bring up or you want to remind yourself how to answer one of the common interview questions, a cheat sheet is acceptable. Remember, the interviewer cannot see you, so you can keep whatever on hand will help you with the job interview.
- Get Your Desk Ready
You should have all useful documents, such as your resume, cover letter, cheat sheet anything else you can use on hand for reference, so that you do not have to look for it during your interview. You should also have some water available and a pen and paper in case you need to make some notes. Everything should be ready beforehand so that you are not looking for it during the interview.
- Don’t Be Boring
Sound energized while you are on the phone. Make the interviewer feel as though you are in the room, and talk to them as though you are talking to someone directly in front of you. People have a tendency to talk in monotone on the phone since it is so impersonal, but you need to do your best to sound engaging.
- Practice Answering Questions
As usual, one of the best ways to improve your ability to complete a job interview is to practice. The more you practice, the better you will be. It is too easy to make mistakes during a phone interview since the employer is looking for reasons not to call you to an in person interview, and practice, as usual, reduces mistakes.
- Don’t Go to the Bathroom During Your Interview
This is crucial. During your phone interview, it is vitally important that you do not take the phone with you into the bathroom. The sounds of gas and flushing water are guaranteed to completely ruin your interview, especially when they find out audibly that you do not wash your hands. Let them find that out in person.
Phone interviews are tough. Especially without practice. Yet they are also a good opportunity, because if you plan ahead you can easily wow the interviewer in a way that other applicants will fail. Practice a great deal and prepare everything you will need beforehand to greatly increase your chances of getting a call back.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Practice answering interview questions.
- Develop a cheat sheet with bullet points.
- Stand and stay undistracted when you speak.
- Get all of your paperwork ready beforehand.