They seem so easy. Many assume the phone interview has little impact on the overall hiring decision. Wrong! The phone interview is by far the most critical conversation you will have with a hiring manager and the most difficult to execute well. This is where the foundation of your personality and value as a candidate is established. Fail the phone interview, forget about moving forward.
5 Tips for Winning the Phone Interview
Preparation. You cannot over prepare for the phone interview. I provide my candidates with a lengthy preparation guide tailored to the position, company and their strengths. You should have answers to anticipated questions well-rehearsed in detail.
Use a landline. Cell phones have a way of delivering spotty reception during critical calls. To no fault of your own it’s awkward at best when an interview mimics a Verizon commercial.
Location. If you have to take a call at work find an isolated location like a meeting room or office with a door that locks. Use your car as a last resort. Don’t go outside. You might think it’s quiet but the background noise is distracting.
Timing. Strategically select times when you are most alert. If you’re a morning person, schedule something before noon. Your mood and energy level affects your tone of voice. Pick a time when you’re at your best.
Project. Candidates always laugh when I tell them to stand up during the call. Why? When you’re hunched over at your desk your voice has a tendency to come across with less energy and personality. Movement keeps your body engaged and in tune with the tone of your voice.
Phone interviews are like first dates. They’re sometimes awkward at first but by the end you know whether or not you want to go out again. Just like a first date, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.