Interviews have really evolved over the years. I don’t know about you but it seems to me that hiring managers are always coming up with new ways to weed out the undersirables. While their tactics may work on other lame under achieving candidates, don’t let it catch you.
One such tactic is the phone interview. Once upon a time you could pretty much guarantee that an interview meant only a face to face encounter. Now with technology, changing job requirements (think work from home), and a super competitive work environment, phone interviews have become pretty commonplace as well.
Before you get all excited, thinking that phone interviews are a walk in the park. Just know that phone interviews come pre-packed with it’s own set of challenges. Here are the phone interview tips every college student should know.
Prepare As You Would For A Face to Face Interview
Before you go high fiving your parents, and start packing your things because you’ll finally be able to pay rent, take the time to practice. Phone interviews are often used as a screening tool before a face to face meeting, so you’ll want to ensure that you are ready for whatever is thrown your way.
Practice common questions like “Tell me about yourself?”, and “Why do you want to work for this company?” Research all you can about the company, its goals, values, and mission. Have questions about the job description? Make notes and prepare it for the interview.
Get Dressed If You Have To
The idea of getting dressed for a phone interview might seem a tad ridiculous. Being mentally prepared, however, can be the difference between an interview success and a disaster. Getting dressed as you normally for a face to face meeting is a great way to set the mood, and get yourself in the right mindset.
Avoid Technical Difficulties, and Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
You know that phone in your living room that only works when you hold it at a certain angle? Yea. Don’t use that phone. The same rule applies for your cellphone as well. Ensure whatever device you use is actually functioning. Also ensure you choose a quiet location with no distractions for your phone interview. It can be considered unprofessional or even rude to have interuptions while your interview is going on.
First impressions Are Everything, Even On The Phone
You’ll want to work on greeting the interviewer. Don’t be too casual as it is still considered a professional setting. Take the time to introduce yourself, and address the interviewer by their last name. Phone interviews don’t have to be a rushed, hostile process, so you can set the tone by inquiring about the interviewer’s day. Make the conversation as natural as possible.
Speak Clearly and Watch Your Tone
Most of communication actually takes place through body language. Crazy, I know. Seeing that you’re going to be on the phone, you won’t have the benefit of giving non-verbal cues. With that being said you’ll want to speak as clearly as possible. It will also be hard for the interviewer to infer anything so be as direct as possible. Also be mindful of your tone since phone interviews open the doors to possibly having your words misinterpretted. To avoid this it definitely helps to smile while speaking.
Let the Interviewer Lead the Conversation
Yes the job description did say they want a candidate that knows how to take charge, but the phone interview may not be the place to show this. Non verbal cues are impossible to read on the phone, but try not to interrupt the interviewer. Allow the interviewer to guide the interview, and remain in charge of the process.
Do you have other tips that would be helpful to our readers? Let us know in the comments below.