Tips for Phone Interviews
Even when the whole world isn’t under quarantine, some businesses still conduct most of their interviews over the phone. Even though a phone interview seems like a just like a normal interview but over the phone, there are things that you need to do differently in order to nail the interview.
Schedule the Interview For a Specific Time
If a company says that they are going to call you “on Tuesday,” ask for a more concrete time to speak with them. Not every place will be able to give you a definite time that they are going to call you, but you can get a general time like “after noon” or “toward the end of the day.”
Make Sure That You are Somewhere Quiet
If you are doing a phone interview, you are probably doing it either from home, your car, or your current job. If you are doing it from your current job, tell your supervisor that you are expecting a personal phone call and will need to step aside. You do not need to explain what the call is. Also, if you’re making the call at work, make sure you are somewhere private. Don’t interview for a new job in front of everyone at your current job. If this means you need to leave the office and take the call outside or from your car, do that instead.
If you are taking the call from home, make sure that you are somewhere private and quiet as well. If you have roommates or family at home, tell them that you are about to have an important phone call and cannot be disturbed.
Take a Deep Breath And Chill Out Before the Call
When you are interviewed face-to-face, you are being judged not only by what is on your resume, but how you look and present yourself. Since the interviewer cannot see you, they can only go off what is on your resume, and how you sound. If you tend to get nervous, take some time to calm down before the interview. You don’t want to sound panicked or frazzled over the phone when you are talking to them. Speak slowly to avoid slurring your words.
Prepare For Technical Difficulties
Technology tends to fail at the worst possible moments. Before your interview, make sure that your phone is charged, and that you have solid service. If you have a laptop, bring it just in case. If the phone call is not working, you can send a quick email explaining the problem, and see if you can set up a call via Zoom or Skype because you have your laptop on you. Remember, you don’t want the most memorable thing about the interview to be that they could barely hear you and it wasted both of your time.
Put the Call on Speakerphone and Take Notes
If you are being interviewed in person, taking notes is always a good idea. This does not change just because you are on the phone. Put the call on speakerphone, and take notes during your interview.
Use All of the Same Best Practices For Normal Interviews
Just because you are doing a phone interview does not mean that you shouldn’t conduct yourself as you do in a typical in-person interview. Follow all of the same best practices we have discussed in previous articles on how to nail interviews: