Dialing in on the Phone Interview!
by Janis Murray
One 24 year old client this summer recently faced 4 phone interviews in 4 days with executives in Dallas and Chicago before any decision on an in-person interview. Cost conscious companies today only fly in finalists, so phone interviews are the all-important filter now.
The phone interview is totally different from the face-to-face opportunity. All you have to work with is your voice, and the messages conveyed audibly. But the fact that the interviewer cannot see you can be an advantage. First, you choose the space. It must be quiet. Make sure no noisy children or TV sounds outside the room can be heard through the closed door. Choose a space where you feel professional. One client taped his phone interview. When I viewed it, he was sitting there in swim trunks, bare-chested in front of a wide open window on a beautifully sunny day. Talk about distractions! There were plenty and his answers showed it. An interview effort later in a suit with the curtains shut was much better.
If you are at work secretly job hunting, schedule the interview during an early or late lunch. One successful client scouted out areas in advance for good cell phone reception in his parked car. Once you have the place, never do a phone interview on speaker! It’s arrogant, as if you think you are more important than the interviewer, and always backfires.
The phone only takes one hand, leaving the other free to work for you. Have a notebook and your resume in front of you. This way you can write and reference. Write down the name of the interviewer so you can refer to him/her by name. If asked multiple questions at once, you can write those down, and respond in order without danger of failed memory. The mighty pen gives you confidence to record details to use later in a follow up email or interview, as in, “Yes, Mr. Doubling mentioned that too, very important. Here’s how I would approach that situation,” integrating You into Their team. Most importantly, that free hand allows you to gesture which affects your voice reflecting your energy and commitment.
My client with the 4 phone interviews in 4 days was ultimately flown in to Chicago as a face-to-face finalist. It went well last week. He is waiting to hear. We are both very hopeful. Stay tuned, and use the phone well.
Copyright 2016 by Janis Murray
All rights reserved.