Guest Post: Tips for More Effective Phone Interviews

More and more employers are turning to phone interviews because these are more efficient for busy recruiters. Since those being interviewed do not have body language on their side when on the phone, everything they say and tone of voice can make or break the interview. It is important to know how to interview well on the phone because a bad interview can get the most qualified of candidates dismissed.

Dress as You Would for a Face-to-Face Interview

This may sound odd, but dressing the part will give you more confidence and create a more professional attitude. While your potential employer would not see you sitting on the couch in pajamas and fuzzy slippers, this can come through in your demeanor. You want to be comfortable, but not so comfortable that it harms your confidence.

Take the Call in a Quiet and Private Place

Potential employers do not need to hear your pets and children in the background. You also do not want things like televisions or other disruptive noises going on. Choose a quiet place that will allow you to fully concentrate on the interview and not worry about anything else during that time.

Have Some Basic Research on the Company Handy

Do you know anything about the company that you are about to interview with? If not, this could make you seem unprepared during the interview. Before you take the call, be sure to look into the company. You want to at least know basic things like what the company does, how long they have been in business and any good news that has been released about them.

Have Your Resume in Front of You

Your interviewer has information on you based on your resume. Have your resume right in front of you so that you can make sure that when answering questions, you are sticking to what is on your resume. This does not mean you cannot elaborate on good points, but you want the basic points, like past jobs and education history, right in front of you so that you can refer to them as needed.

Watch Tone of Voice

What you say and your tone of voice is really all your interviewer has to go on when getting to know you. You do not want to be completely monotone because this can portray disinterest. You also do not want to be completely excited because this can come off as not fully genuine. The best way to ensure that you get your personality across is to simply talk like you would when talking to a friend.

Listen and Never Interrupt

When the person interviewing is talking, always listen and never interrupt. Answering questions before the full question is asked or interrupting when the interviewer is making a statement portrays that you do not have good listening skills. Since you do not have the benefit of eye contact, it is okay to say the occasional “okay” to let the interviewer know you are listening, but this should be done at spaced intervals and not after every sentence they complete.

No Food, Drinks or Cigarettes

Yes, you are at home, but you are conducting business. You would not go to a face-to-face interview and sit there with a snack, drink or cigarette during the interview. Your interviewer should be getting your full attention. Plus, no one wants to hear someone chewing or swallowing on the other end of the phone. It is not professional and it can get incredibly distracting.

Remember Basic Phone Etiquette

When you know the call is coming, make sure that you are the one to answer your phone and answer it with your name. For example, when you answer, instead of saying “hello” say “Jane Doe speaking.” You also want to avoid dead air. It is okay to think for a few seconds, but you want to keep things flowing.


About the Author: Steven Burrell has been writing about business solutions and improving the employee/employer relationship for nearly ten years. Click here for more information about employee testing.