Here’s some tips from a college senior on phone interviews. Alas, Patricia might want to invest in a land line…three dropped calls and I think you’re pretty much ‘out’.
From the WSJ
DECEMBER 15, 2010, 9:30 AM ET
Set the Table for a Phone Interview
By Patricia Berg
I recently had a phone interview with a human-resources manager I met at a career fair last month. I was more nervous for this phone call than a face-to-face interview or conversation. What if they aren’t able to reach me? What if I lose reception? What if someone calls or texts me during the call? What if I catch a cold and lose my voice? And so on.
I did my best to prepare. I had my laptop set up with the company’s website, an open webpage showing my completed college coursework, a copy of my resume, and any other topics I thought would be important typed up. I also had a notepad and a pen ready to go with the manager’s name written on top so I could remember to say it throughout the phone call. A few minutes before the manager called me, I filled up a glass of water to have near me during the conversation.
I am very surprised how much this preparation helped me. Not only did the manager ask me to talk about my previous course and work experience, but I was also navigating through the company’s website while some specifics about the company were being explained. I was able to be very specific and provide the manager with a lot of information, just by having sources in front of me.
It’s amazing how dry your throat can get when you have a very important phone call; my glass of water was gone a third of the way through the conversation. Unfortunately, we lost connection twice, but I immediately called back and we were able to smoothly pick up where we left off. Since the manager was calling from Missouri and I am in California, it is hard to ensure 100% reception during the entire call, no matter what the phone companies are promising these days.
This was my first phone interview and I am looking forward to a second one next week. Even though a phone is a different communication tool than meeting in person, the same amount of preparation is key for success. I will prepare more for the next phone call since I know what works for me and what doesn’t, and I’ll have a full pitcher of water to accompany me next time too.