In today’s world of technology, the workplace as an on-site requirement is no longer a given. There are times when you may have an interview over the telephone, which is not always the best of circumstances when you are trying to sell yourself and don’t get any visual feedback. These are strategies that can help you feel more comfortable in such situations; the top five tips for interviewing on the phone are:
5Have your resume out.
Of course you know your own work history, but it’s always best to have your resume out while you are interviewed so that you can refer to any details of a job they ask about. It’s easy to be caught off guard if you are on the phone with no reference. For example, if they ask you about a job you list between January 2003 and September 2008, there could be many details that escape you without a visual prompt. In general, an interview is a chronological review of your work experience, it only makes sense to have the formal document in front of you. When you are following along, it helps you engage more and answer questions about particular experiences with more clarity and at length. Make notes on your copy before the interview to make sure you can match your own skills with those required in the job description.
4Listen for names and use them.
When you get the call, listen carefully for the names of anyone on the call. Take note and address people by name when they ask you a question or for information about a job. It’s common courtesy to call people by name when speaking to them, even on the phone. It also makes you come across more friendly, approachable, and professional. “Yes, John, I have worked in SharePoint for a number of years” sounds a lot better than just “Yes, I know SharePoint”. It also humanizes you to the unseen interviewers, and gives you a better shot of sticking out among the other candidates in their memory.
3Take notes and ask questions.
As interviews generally unfold, it’s likely the interviewer will give you background on the company in general, and the job in particular. Catch the key words in the conversation and jot them down. Most people are fairly nervous when interviewing for jobs, and this can help you track the conversation. If they backtrack to a skill you need for something that was discussed five minutes earlier, you’ll have a prompt in front of you to help. A clear understanding of the position and the company demonstrates your deep interest in the position, which is much easier when you have all your information laid out in front of you.
2Smile when you speak.
Even though you’re not physically in front of the person, a smile can convey your demeanor over the phone. Use your voice enthusiastically, and speak slowly enough to enunciate properly. Remember that this is your first step towards the job you want and you only chance to make a first impression. If your tone is upbeat and you smile when you speak, it will make the person on the other end feel that you are actively interested in what he or she has to say, and you are paying close attention…as you should be.
1Follow up the same as an in-person iinterview
After a telephone interview, you should follow up with a thank you note – email in this day and age. It’s likely that you arranged the interview via email, so you can look back on your notes, and say once more why you would be a good fit for the job as you thank the interviewer for his or her time and attention. Do this within a day of the call, while it’s fresh in both your mind and the potential employer’s. Etiquette is still appreciated in this day and age, and it will keep you at the forefront of the prospective boss’s mind.