7 Tips and Tricks to Help You Stand Out on a Phone Interview
Your resume has made it through HR, now they are ready to set up an interview! Only, they don’t want to set up an in-person interview, but a phone interview. Here are 7 tips to make sure you ace any phone interview.
Treat it the Same as an In-Person Interview
It is tempting to lounge on the couch in your sweatpants during a phone interview, but don’t do it. Take time to wake up and get dressed before the interview, this will help get you in the right mindset. Sit down at a table or desk, as if you were meeting with someone. Even though they cannot see you, getting up, getting dressed and acting the part will make you feel and sound more confident during the interview.
Be 100% Focused
Be Present. Don’t have anything going on in the background that might distract you or the interviewer. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and focused, with no interruptions from friend, family, pets, etc. This might mean getting a babysitter for you children or a pet sitter for your pets. Just as you wouldn’t answer a phone call or text during a face-to-face interview, make sure you phone is off or on silent and there are no potential interruptions.
A big advantage of the interviewer not being able to see you, is that you can have any and as many notes as you want. Having clean, clear and organized notes in front of you can help you make sure you hit all of the talking points you want to and help out if you get stuck. Not being face-to-face also allows you to take more notes throughout the interview, these notes can help you ask detailed thought-out questions at the end. These detailed questions will let your interviewer know that you were paying attention. Note: Do not get so caught up in taking notes you forget to be present in the interview.
Even though the interviewer cannot see you, smiling is reflected in your voice. Customer service representatives are taught to smile on the phone, even though customers can’t see them. Studies have shown that if you smile, your tone of voice will reflect it. Since, the interviewer will not be able to see your face, it is important to come across as friendly and interested. Speaking in a flat, unhappy tone will make it seem as if you are not interested or bored, so… smile!
Pause Before You Answer
When the interviewer asks you a question, take a second and pause before answering. This is a good practice, for both in-person and phone interviews, for two reasons. People are often nervous during interviews and are quick to answer before they even realize what they are saying. Taking a breath before will give you the opportunity to gather your thoughts for the best answer possible. Also, it makes sure that the interviewer is done asking the question, and you don’t accidently interrupt.
Do a Practice Run
Even if you know you can nail an in-person interview, phone interviews are much different. It might be a good idea to record yourself, or do a practice run with a friend, so that you know exactly how you come across on the phone.
Send a Follow Up
Just as an in-person interview, it is helpful to send a follow-up email or note after the interview. Make sure to thank the interviewer for their time spent with you, and let them know that you are still interested in the position.