A lot of people would much rather have a job interview in person, than do it over the phone. ‘Telephonophobia’, or fear of calling is something that many many people suffer from, even in lighter forms. The biggest cause of that fear is insecurity: not knowing how to answer the phone, being afraid that the conversation won’t go smoothly, etc. Normally it wouldn’t matter too much if anything went wrong over the phone, and most people don’t feel anxiety when they are having a casual conversation with friends and colleagues over the phone, but with a phone interview it is different. It is a job interview, and everyone knows that if you mess up the interview, you won’t get the job. However, the most important thing is not to panic: a phone interview may not be something that you are used to, but if you learn a few tips and tricks you may feel more at ease and do a great job during the interview. Check them out below:
1. Look on the bright side
Think about it: normally you would have a job interview in someone else’s office, and the other person would actually be able to see you. Right now you are in the comfort of your own house, wearing clothes that you feel absolutely comfortable in, and the other person isn’t able to see you. You don’t need to be worry about whether you look professional enough or not, where to put your hands, and if you are giving off the wrong non-verbal signals. You are in a place where you are comfortable, and you are completely safe.
2. Make a list
Before starting the interview, you should make a list with your personal skills, previous job experiences, you accomplishments, and other important things that are probably going to come up in the interview. This is especially good for if you aren’t comfortable talking over the phone. This way you won’t forget anything important, and you don’t need to worry about saying ‘erm’ too many times. It might also be good to have a copy of your resume in front of you. That way you can look back on it if your interviewer brings it up. Also make sure to have a pen and paper, so that you can take notes in case something important is being said.
3. Remember: it is still an interview
Even though you are in the comfort of your own house, and maybe even in your pajamas, you are still in the middle of a professional interview. There are some things that you really shouldn’t do. We feel like we shouldn’t need to say it but: don’t eat or drink during the interview! The interviewer will obviously be able to tell, and it is just not polite. Other things to avoid are smoking: you may think that you are being quiet, but the other person will be able to tell by the way you breath. Also, make sure to sit up straight in your chair, because research has shown that people are able to guess from your voice in which position you are sitting.
4. Your response
One thing that can make a phone conversation awkward is when two people try to talk at once, and constantly keep interrupting each other by accident. Of course you can’t completely avoid this, but at least you can try your best to talk at the right moments: after your interviewer asks you a question, wait a second before you answer. That way you can think about the question that is being asked, and you will be sure that the other person is done talking, and that you’re not interrupting.
5. Make sure that you have the time and the space
Another thing that can ruin your interview is constantly being disturbed: you want to make sure that you are in a quiet room, by yourself. It is best not to have small kids around when you are having the interview, unless if you are sure that someone is watching them for you. Pets should also be in the other room, because their chirping, barking and meowing can work on the interviewer’s nerves and distract you from what you are talking about. Make sure that other features on your phone are disabled, or silences. However, if anything does happen during the interview, don’t try to cover it up, but explain it to the interviewer. They will understand that you can’t control everything that is going on.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you survive and ace your phone interview. If you have any tips yourself, please share them with us.