Phone Interviews

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by

By E. W., 11/6/12
A one-on-one interview can be a terrifying experience. But if you are anything like me, a phone interview is much worse. But fear not; here are eight simple tips that will help to ease your anxiety before your next phone interview:
1.     Keep your answers short. That’s not to say you should give one word answers, but instead make sure that you are not going on and on about just one thing, especially if you start moving away from the initial question. It is much better to ask your interviewer if he or she would like more information or clarification.
2.     Use a landline if possible. Cell phones have a nasty habit of dropping calls that are the really important. Not only that, but do you really want to risk any interference or static as you talk to a potential boss? Didn’t think so.
3.     Pretend you are at a real interview. Would you go to a face-to-face interview without brushing your teeth or combing your hair? Would you wear your sweats? Of course not! So why would you do that for a phone interview? By acting like the employer can see you, you are more likely to express yourself in a professional manner.  Also, make sure to smile; it changes your tone of voice and makes you sound more appealing.
4.     Have a cheat sheet on hand. You are talking over the phone so your employer can’t see you. That means go ahead and have your resume in front of you in case they reference it. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses in case they ask. Just makes sure that they are all neatly laid out; the last thing you want is for the interviewer to hear you shuffling through papers as you try to answer their questions.
5.     Cut out all distractions. Kick your roommates out of the dorm; go to a quiet spot on campus; turn off the television or radio. Don’t let anything come between your attention and the interviewer.
6.     Make sure your interest is known. Let the employer know that this job is exactly what you are looking for and that you would be honored to be associated with the company.
7.     Don’t eat, chew gum, or drink during the interview. This might seem like a no brainer, but just keep it in mind. (However, have a glass of water standing by just in case your mouth does get dry).
8.      Follow-up. Just as you would any interview, have a couple questions prepared for them. Go ahead and ask what the expected time-line is. This will help you plan your next step as you continue to look for jobs. Consider sending a thank you letter. Let them know that you are a serious candidate.
Phone interviews are often the last step before obtaining a real interview. Giving a good impression over the phone, then, is important if you wish to move on to the next step to acquiring your dream job. If you have any questions about phone interviews, or you want more help with interviewing in general, stop by the CSL for advice.


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