Phone interviews have become an increasingly common addition to the job recruitment process. Hiring managers like them because they place a relatively inexpensive buffer between the blind crap shoot of the resume-vetting process and the time-consuming, schedule-dependent slog that can make up the in-person interview stage.
Also, the phone interview allows companies to widen their nets. They can consider candidates in other geographic locations and HR staffers can also talk to more candidates.
Meanwhile, a phone interview offers job applicants some benefits as well. It eats up less of your time. No time wasted nervously preening in front of a mirror. No need to drive to the office and find parking.
Also, a phone interview can lower the inherent stress level of the interaction. A phone conversation feels more informal than a traditional face-to-face interview. And if you get to the in-person interview, you’ll feel more comfortable, having already talked to some of the people over the phone.
Still, there’s an art to acing the phone interview. Here are some tips to help you shine on your next one:
Find a Quiet Place
Construction outside your window. Sirens screaming by. Your neighbor’s love of reggae. In all fairness, these really shouldn’t affect your chances to get hired. But they could have a subtle impact.
If you are distracted, you might not give your best performance. Meanwhile, if the interviewers have a hard time hearing you, it might color their opinions. Or they might conclude you live amid a discordant symphony of chaos, which you’re sure to drag into their company if you get hired.
Better avoid any doubt and find someplace you can talk without interruption.
Shower and Get Dressed
Theoretically, you can conduct your phone interview in your bathrobe and slippers (unless it’s a video call, in which case you might still be able to get away with pajama pants if you set the computer up right). It may seem tempting, but there’s a psychological cost to going too informal.
You’re not chatting with a friend or complaining to a customer service flunky. You’re the one on display. You’re the one that must impress. Get your mind right by preparing for the interview as if it were happening in person.
That doesn’t mean you need to wear a full suit or put on the high heels. But doing some reasonable grooming and putting on regular clothes can go a long way to putting you in the right frame of mind.
Slow, Clear and Articulate
They say a sizable part of communication is nonverbal. Not on the phone. Unless it’s a video chat, you’ll have to forget about selling yourself through gestures and body language. That puts a lot of pressure on what you have to say.
Make sure you’re heard and understood. Basic presentation rules apply. Try not to say “like” or “um.” Don’t mumble or trip over your words. Speak clearly. Stay conscious of your voice quality in order to increase your likelihood to impress.
Remember It’s an Interview
Because it feels less formal than a face-to-face interaction, there’s a danger you’ll let your game face slip during the phone interview. It’s not a friendly chat, so don’t let the conversation wander too far off course.
Make sure you are constantly selling yourself, as you would during a traditional interview. Highlight your unique mix of talents. And make sure to give them your elevator pitch at the end.
The hiring process can be long and difficult to navigate. Having a partner along the way takes some of the pressure off. By teaming with a top-flight recruiter, you increase your chances of landing that perfect position. Contact DHR today to find out more.