It’s more and more common for companies to do phone interviews with job candidates. During this recession, there’s no shortage of candidates, and a phone interview is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways for human resources to screen candidates whose resumes have made it through electronic scanning and are ready for a closer look.
If you can’t effectively manage a phone call, what does that mean for how you will handle the job?
Think about it this way: Being able to communicate over the phone with peers, managers, vendors and other business associates is a generally accepted way of performing many direct and indirect job tasks. A phone interview is an way to demonstrate a core competency for any senior-level position.
That’s not to say your phone skills will guarantee you the job. Nevertheless, they’re often a step to the next level: the in-person interview.
A blog post at Emurse has some very practical and well-thought-out tips for the best ways to handle phone interviews psychologically and physically. Remember, if you’re comfortable physically, it should translate in to a more comfortable interview.
Here are Emurse’s phone-interview tips:
- Have your resume online (for easy access while talking and reference)
- Have a pen and paper to write down any questions you might have
- Have your company research handy including questions (good ones, not obvious ones)
- Have a distraction-free environment
- Use a land line phone if you can, and avoid wind if you’re using a cell phone
- Get in a good mood before the call. (”Negativity or a uneasy attitude can easily show itself over a phone call. Before the interview, consider spending a few minutes listening to your favorite song or watching a funny video on YouTube.”)
- Turn off call waiting, and if you can’t, DO NOT answer it! Also, avoid speaker phones
- Dress the part (”[P]roperly dressing in at least a business-casual attire will make a big difference in your ability to focus on the interview.”)
- Have some water nearby to keep your vocal cords lubricated
- Listen, talk slowly and talk as articulately as possible (and allow for some awkward silences between questions; it will happen.)
- Stand up periodically (”Stretching out your torso will allow you to have the full strength of your lungs.”)
- Practice answering common interview questions
- Make sure to ask the interviewer’s name
And of course, follow up with a thank-you note.
[Image by aussiegal via Flickr CC 2.0]
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