Phone interviews are a convenient way for employers to reach out to job applicant as part of a larger recruitment process. The ability to communicate with potential employers over a call can be both, a blessing and a curse. For one, you do not need to worry about being judged on your physical demeanor – this implies that there is no need to play dress-up or worry about your body language. On the other hand, you must keep in mind that the hiring managers conducting interviews over telephones are going through multiple potential candidates, and would be on the lookout for anything that is slightly off-setting – leaving a very small margin for error.
There are several things that could help you have a successful interview over the phone, just as there are things that you should totally avoid during such situations.
Prepare for the Occasion
While phone interviews are remote and don’t require you to prepare physically in terms of getting dressed, you will always be at an advantage if you make certain preparations beforehand. Needless to say, you would want to clear your schedule for the time during which the interview has been set up for. You would also find it helpful to keep a copy of your documents (resume, transcripts, job description, etc) along with any notes you might have made for the purpose of this interview handy – you never know if you might need to refer to any of these during the call. Being indecisive about the contents of these documents, or scrambling to look for them during the interview itself will not work in your favor.
Cater for Technical Difficulties
While it may never be possible for you to ensure that you experience no disturbances during the phone call due to issues caused by network operators, there are ways to minimize such occurrences from your own end. If you are taking the call on a smartphone, be sure to check if you are getting good signal reception in the room you are planning to use for the purpose of taking the interview. This would also be a good time to ensure that your smartphone is charged-up, and has notification sounds disabled. During your interview call, avoid placing the call on the speaker – this may make it difficult for the interviewers to understand you clearly, and vice-versa.
Do Not Multitask
During the phone interview, your attention should be solely focused on the task at hand. Adding activities to the mix, such as checking your social media feeds, replying to incoming text messages or browsing the internet would only lead to distractions which could end up costing you the opportunity at hand. Be patient and attentive – we know it can be difficult to do so, especially during lengthy telephonic sessions, but hang in there!
Don’t Talk Excessively
We are conditioned to have long, elaborate conversations with our friends and family over the phone, where little attention is given to the structure of the conversation. This cannot be the case when giving a phone interview – hiring managers are looking for concise, well structured interactions, not lengthy and time consuming chats that are reminiscent of everyday phone calls. Always keep in mind that you are still in an interview! The medium of the interview might be different, but the level of professionalism needed to be displayed remains unaltered.
Address Any Technical Difficulties without Hesitation
Remember – this call is your one shot to make or break the deal – if you have any issues communicating with the interviewers on the other end, address the issue immediately. Don’t try to wait it out or assume what the people on the other side might be trying to say. If you feel that you are having to do so due to technical difficulties, promptly inform the interviews so that the call me be placed again, or in some cases, rescheduled. Hiring managers understand that such issues can occur from time-to-time and would be accommodation as long a they are informed.