Phone interviews are a common step in the hiring process in today’s market. Making the right impression and nailing the call – whether it’s with recruiters, agencies or hiring managers, is crucial if you plan on making it to the next step.
Too often candidates underestimate the importance of the phone call and treat it like a casual conversation. Phone interviews are anything but casual. They are a test of your communication skills, style, attention to detail and ability to focus.
With some simple planning and a few tips, you too can put your best foot forward.
- Prepare for the call with the same intensity as a face-to-face interview. Know what you want to say about yourself, have your resume and work examples in front of you, and the questions you plan to ask.
- Use a land line if possible. Mobile connections can be spotty and nothing stalls a conversation faster than a terrible connection.
- If using a mobile phone, don’t take the call outside. You would be amazed at how a slight wind to you sounds like a hurricane on the other end. If you have to take the call on your cell phone, do it in a quiet room. If you must take the call outside, do it from within your car to minimize background noise.
- Stand up when speaking if possible. You have to over-compensate a bit for a natural decrease in energy through the phone. Standing up helps people project themselves louder and strangely enough, helps most people focus better on the call.
- Speak clearly and slow down if you tend to talk fast. When you remove the other person’s face from the dialog and we only have words to rely on, it can sometimes be more difficult to understand what people are saying. Slowing down your speech and enunciating clearly helps.
Try them next time you’re on the phone and see if you notice a difference!