Have you ever been asked to take a phone interview?
If so, you might have been caught off guard by the idea. If not, it is something you should consider as a possibility and prepare for it now.
This interview method is used as a screening process, so it is very important you make a good impression in order to be selected for the next step: the in-person interview.
In addition, if you are applying for administrative jobs, sales jobs, or customer service jobs, this is an excellent way for an employer to determine the level of your telephone effectiveness.
Phone Interviewing – Tips for a phone interview
It’s no surprise that preparation is the key to a successful interview whether it is on the phone or in-person.
How should you prepare differently for a phone interview? In many ways your methods will be the same. Research the company you are interviewing with; anticipate interview questions and have answers ready; prepare good questions to show your interest in the job.
Here’s how you can prepare differently: have this information arranged and organized in front of you! Yes, on a telephone interview, you have access to all your written materials, including prepared answers. You have the opportunity to avoid the stumbling that might otherwise happen in a typical interview situation. It’s also a good idea to practice an interview with a friend or family member over the phone and solicit feedback on your performance.
Just as it is important to be professional when meeting face-to-face, this also applies to phone interviews.
While you can certainly talk to a prospective employer in your pajamas on a phone interview, there are some things you need to think about that aren’t visual.
When you are interviewed by phone, the employer is bringing the interview into your space. Any noise distractions such as dogs; kids; other phones ringing; call-waiting interruptions; television, radio, and computer noises; a bad phone line will not only be annoying to the interviewer but can break your concentration and focus as well.
Take care of any possible noise problems in advance. In order to do this, you’ll need to think about the time you choose to be interviewed (if possible) and the space you will use.
In addition, your audible behavior will be noticed by the interviewer (perhaps even more so than if he or she were to see you in person!)
Don’t eat or chew gum, avoid coughing, yawning, and constantly clearing your throat. Be ready to speak and practice speaking in advance.
Project a Good Attitude
Use an enthusiastic voice to sound energetic, interested, and ready to go! Smile as you talk.
Even though you’ve prepared for the interview, don’t be stiff like you are reading from a paper. Use your materials to refer to, not as a teleprompter.
Don’t rush through your answers. Attempt to create a relationship over the phone so the interviewer will DESIRE to meet you in person.
Just because you are on a telephone interview doesn’t mean you should expect to talk more than you would face-to-face.
It is very important in any kind of interview to listen and only speak when appropriate without interrupting.
You have a good opportunity in a phone interview to take notes. Record what the interviewer tells you and your responses as well.
Always thank the interviewer after an interview.
Include that you would like to be considered for the job. In a phone interview you should say that you look forward to meeting him or her in person.
Follow up in writing as you would with any interview.
Follow these phone interview tips and you have a good chance to make it through to the next level. Many in-person interviewing tips will be the same, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t wear your pajamas to the office!
Lynn Mattoon is a Content Editor & Career Writer for AdministrativeJobs.com and SalesHeads.com, Beyond.com career communities. You can follow her on Twitter at BeyondCareers.