The workplace is becoming more and more remote. Out of office duties are more common than ever and businesses are beginning to realize that the necessity of conducting work in a physical office is an outdated practice. No surprise than that the phone interview is on the rise in many industries.
What was once a rare occurrence reserved for candidates living out of town, is now fairly normal no matter home close you might live to the office. While the face-to-face interview is still essential (and will probably happen before any hiring is actually done), don’t be caught off guard if you find yourself in a phone interview during your next job search. For those uninitiated, or those out of practice, the phone interview can be trickier than it seems. Consider the following tips that will help you prepare and succeed with your next phone interview.
Prepare as usual.
First things first, this is a job interview and should be treated as such. It may not be the last interview but it’s likely the first impression the employers will have of you beyond your resume. You should prepare for it as you would any other job interview. This means, reading up on the company, knowing their history, checking out their social media and blogs, and preparing some answers to common interview questions.
Find the right location.
It is nice to be able to conduct a job interview from the location of your choice, but choosing the right location is imperative. Pick a place where you feel comfortable and will be reliable for a potentially long phone call. Somewhere with a landline would be ideal, but if not, make sure it’s a place where your cell reception is solid. Other things to consider are internet connection and the level of noise around you.
It can be surprisingly easy to get distracted on these phone interviews, so help yourself by removing as many distractions as you can. Disable features on your phone that might interrupt the phone call. Have a physical print out of your reading material to help you avoid browsing the computer. If you’re taking the call at home, make sure the rest of the family knows you are not to be disturbed.
Have the information at your fingertips.
Make sure you have in front of you any and all information you might need for the interview. You don’t want to be scrambling to find something while the employers wait on the other end of the line. Have your resume, the job description, any relevant company information, and anything else that might be helpful.
Be relaxed, but not too relaxed.
Job interviews can be very stressful to some people and being able to give an interview from your own home can be very comforting. But it can also be harmful to the way you interview. One of the biggest problems people run into with phone interviews is that they go too far with the relaxing atmosphere. They wear their pyjamas, lie in bed or on the couch, and as a result, they tend to sound tired or bored. Wear something suitable (while still being comfortable), sit at a table or stand and give the interview as if the employer is sitting across from you.
It might sound silly but make no mistake, you can hear a silt over the phone. Smiling when you’re talking makes you sound more personable, more enthusiastic and gives a better first impression regardless of if they can see you or not.
The flow of a conversation can be much harder over the phone than in real life. To avoid taking over the person conducting the interview, listen intently, wait for them to speak and then go ahead with your answer.
It can also be a lot harder to understand someone over the phone versus a face-to-face chat so keep that in mind when you are giving your interview. Make sure you aren’t talking too fast, articulate your words and don’t mumble. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat themselves if something wasn’t clear.
Send a ‘Thank you’ follow-up.
Once the interview is complete, don’t forget to follow-up. Too many people forget or neglect to do this one courtesy and they might be surprised how often it can cost them a job. They are likely interviewing a great number of candidates so it’s just polite to take a few moments to thank them, as well as remind them who you are. A small gesture that could mean the difference between rejection and a second interview.