In today’s digital age it is easy to feel as though we have the world at our fingertips. With the press of a button we can have instantaneous information and entertainment as we walk down the street, but how often do you actually use your phone to have a conversation? With texting and emailing, people are often uncomfortable having a conversation on the phone with a friend, let alone a potential employer.
Phone interviews are extremely common and often utilized as a way for an employer to narrow the pool of applicants that they are interested in. It is important to prepare for your phone interview just as you would do if you were going to be speaking with someone face to face. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your phone interview:
- Make sure that you are in a quiet space where you know you will not be interrupted
- If you will be using a cell phone, check ahead of time to make sure that the room you will be in will have service
- Disable any type of ring back tone
- Speak articulately and at a moderate pace
- If you are not using a cell phone, make sure that the phone receiver is not in too close proximity to your mouth
- Have a pen and paper accessible so that you can take your own notes
- Make sure that you have the version of your resume that we have provided the client with in front of you so that everyone is on the same page
- Take time prior to the phone interview to review the job description
By following these simple hints you will not only make a good first impression, but greatly increase your chances of getting called back for an inperson interview.
So often, candidates ask “what’s the correct answer for this interview question or that interview question”, or “what type of advice can you give me about what they are looking for” or “how should I act or how I should be”.
Truth be told, just like every company is unique, every interviewer is unique but there are some universal character traits I try to preach to all of my candidates when sending them out on interviews.
One of the most under-rated personality traits during an interview is positive energy. What is positive energy you may ask? Well, it’s hard to articulate but you know it when you see it. For starters, it could mean a smile when you walk into the room, a glimmer in your eye, the tone in one’s voice or just the body language you exhibit when communicating with another individual.
I am told by clients that candidates commonly walk into an interview serious or uptight, intent on being ready for a technical question or hoping to remember what’s on their resume. In my experience, interviewers prefer candidates focus more on displaying positive energy and create positive conversation. For example, if you walk into an interviewer’s office, take the opportunity to bring up fun, non-work related topics like, “I see you are a Yankee fan, how do you like your chances this year? Or is that your son, how old is he? My son is five”, or “how did you like that university?”
Let’s face it, we would all prefer to work with someone who is happy, upbeat and generally sending out positive vibes, a glass half full type of individual. I think leading off one’s candidacy with the right attitude and right approach can make all the difference in the world, especially during a multi-interview process.