Phone interviews are more common than ever before; and if you haven’t already, chances are that at some point in a career transition you will be asked to do one. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you ace your next telephone interview.
Get off the couch, get dressed and stand up
A phone interview may sound great. No fighting traffic with the risk of being late. No rushing to the dry cleaner to be sure your best clothes are freshly pressed. Just you on the couch with your feet up. Perfect, right? Unfortunately, no. You will sound much more engaged and energetic if you take the interview while fully dressed and standing up.
Also, pay attention to your body language. Smile. Keep an open and welcoming stance. Even though you aren’t meeting the interviewer face to face, the way you are conducting yourself can come across in your voice.
Leave them wanting more
You don’t have to tell the interviewer everything about yourself during the phone interview. If you do, you will have nothing left to say during an in-person interview, and that’s the goal of a phone interview anyway. Tell them just enough to make them to want to hear more.
It’s a fine line to walk, though. You don’t want to offer too little information that you appear to be hiding something or unaccomplished. Come into the interview with notes. Write down common interview questions and then prepare answers for them. Write down whatever you need to remember those answers. It may be a few key words. It could be exactly what you want to say. It won’t come off as scripted as you fear, and it’ll make sure you say enough to keep the interviewer intrigued.
Even though it is just a phone interview, you need to spend time researching the company. If you are able, have a computer on and a browser window open. Pull up the company web site for reference in case you need to refer to it, but don’t rely on that. Take time beforehand to familiarize yourself with the company and the job for which you’re interviewing.
And prepare for those tough questions. Don’t assume because it is on the phone that interviewers are not going to challenge you with their questions. It is better to be prepared for anything than be taken by surprise.