Oct 20, 2011

A Phone Interview? Are You Kidding?

No.  They are not kidding!  It's been a while since you were in the job market, and while you were working, things changed.  Now, before you are invited in for an interview, you have a phone screening interview.  What's the point, you ask.  So they don't waste your time, or the hiring manager's time.  The interviewer will ask you a few questions about your experience, and will definitely ask you what salary you are looking for. Make no mistake.  Phone interviews can be more stressful than face-to-face interviews because there is no visual feedback for either party.  You cannot see or read facial expressions or body language, so both of you have to rely on what you hear.  Here are 8 tips to help you with phone interviews.

  • If you are called unexpectedly, ask if you can call the interviewer back in 10-15 minutes.  Trying to "wing it" without your resume in front of you will make you sound unprepared.  
  • Make sure your environment is quiet.  Pets should be outside or in a different room with the door closed.  
  • Stand up during your interview so your voice projects.  While sitting is comfortable, you may end up slouching which will negatively impact your voice.  
  • Stand in front of a mirror and make eye contact with your reflection.  Your posture will positively impact your voice.  
  • Smile.  Smiling helps your voice come across as friendly.  
  • Listen to the interviewer's tone of voice.  Do they sound interested?  Annoyed?
  • Pay attention to who is interrupting whom.  If the interviewer is constantly interrupting you, then your responses are too long.  Keep them concise.  
  • Keep an eye on the clock.  If the phone interview is scheduled for 30 minutes, be mindful of that.  After 25 minutes say something like "I know we were scheduled for 30 minutes, however I want to be respectful of your time."  Let the interviewer give the OK to continue beyond the 30 minutes.  That will also help you gauge how your are doing.  
 If all goes well, you will be invited in for a face-to-face interview. 

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