As nerve wracking as an in-person interview can be, one major asset you have when sitting across the table from your interviewer is the opportunity to read their body language and cater your responses accordingly. Not so with a phone interview, when the information you receive is limited to the words spoken and the tone of voice coming from the other end of the call.
Yet, if it seems as though your ability to make a strong impression is limited during a phone interview, this couldn’t be further from the case!
While it’s true that in many ways your own two ears are your best friends during a telephone interview, there are many additional tools and tactics you can employ before and during the conversation to ensure that yours will be the voice the hiring manager remembers when deciding who to call for an in-person interview.
- Research the company and interviewer in advance
In competition, they say that the more you know about your opponent, the better prepared you will be to face them. Of course, your interviewer isn’t an opponent, but in many ways the same principle holds true. Taking advantage of such tools as LinkedIn to research Manager’s LinkedIn profile will help you understand their background and experience, while common connections could hold the key to valuable information about their working style.
- Print both the job description and your resume
Among the benefits of having a phone interview is the opportunity to make use of visual prompts. In particular, having the Job Description and your resume on hand — highlighting such key points as the core skills on the job description and corresponding achievements from your resume — will afford a quick point of reference to keep you focused on what you want to emphasize.
- Prepare answers to commonly asked questions
Whether the interview be in-person or over the phone, being prepared with answers to commonly asked questions is crucial (including the most common final question during an interview). Not only will you have the benefit of preparing and practicing these answers, but having them on hand during the interview will provide you with a bit of extra assurance that they’re right there should you need them.
On The Day Of The Interview
- Sit in a quiet and comfortable space
Without someone in front of you to focus your attention upon, remaining focused on the interviewer’s voice is essential. To this end, eliminating distractions for yourself, while avoiding a noisy background for the interviewer’s sake, will only aid in your ability to hone in on the conversation.
- Dress Professionally
It might sound silly, but believe it or not this makes a difference. You are more likely to a project a professional energy when you are suited up. You might not realize it, but it will come across.
- Take 2 Minutes to Stretch
It’s easy to forget, but our bodies are connected to our minds, and when you exercise your body and your mind will follow. Not only will taking a couple minutes to stretch and breathe allow you to feel looser physically, but you will feel more alert and energized mentally.
During The Phone Interview
- Listen First. Speak Next.
There’s nothing worse than interrupting or talking over your interviewer during the conversation. Yet, without the benefit of body language, it can be tricky to pick up on cues as to when it’s your turn to speak. Airing on the side of caution and focusing your energy on listening to what the interviewer has to say, rather than waiting for your turn to speak, will help to keep the conversation flowing smoothly.
- Smile And Sound Pleasant.
In an in-person interview, the interviewer judges our personality based on our body language. In a phone interview, your voice should convey your personality, and smiling while you speak is one of the best ways to do just that. Don’t believe us? Give it a try!
- Follow 3 C’s of communication — CLEAR. CRISP. CONCISE.
It’s quite common for people to talk faster and to ramble on when they are nervous, yet this can be draining for the listener. Making a concerted effort to keep your answers concise while reducing your pace a notch or two will make for a more pleasant experience for both parties.
- End on a Positive Note
Much like a first impression, how we end a conversation will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. Whether it be: “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me” or “I really enjoyed our conversation and look forward to meeting you,” ending the call with a positive affirmation is a simple way to convey your enthusiasm for the role, express your appreciation for their time, and leave them with the right kind of impression.