Tips for Phone Interviews
It's quite possible that phone interviews are more nerve racking than actual in person interviews. I like in person interviews for the sake of talking face to face with a person, it makes it more personal (obviously). There is just something about looking into another s eyes. Phone interviews can be great or a great disaster. It's up to you. I've done my fair share of phone interviews for internships and colleges (back in the day) and am in the midst of job interviews. Naturally I have acquired some good habits to put into practice and I'd like to share them with you. Especially when so many of you readers are graduating!
1. Dress for the part!!
I don't care if the other person cant see what you're wearing! What you wear affects the way you feel and act. Dress in your best outfit as if you were going to be sitting face to face with the interviewer. For goodness sake do not wear pajamas or anything that makes you want to crawl into bed.
2. Have the right posture!
Sit at a desk or table. This allows you once again to feel more professional as if you were doing this in person. How can you act professional while laying down on your bed?
3. Write out answers ahead of time.
You know you are bound to get asked, "Why do you want to work here". So be prepared to give the best (honest!) answer possible. "Just because" or "I love your company" is not sufficient. They want an answer that is not a cookie cutter answer and one that shows you have thought about the position. If you are overcome with nerves you can simply glance at your paper to guide you. And by all means I am not telling you to write out an essay,simply guidelines to help you create clear thoughts.
4.Write out questions for THEM.
When you ask questions about their company, it shows you have interest and that you have done your homework. Some interviewers will ask you at the end of your interview if you have any questions for them. "No" is not the best answer. Even if your simplest question is asking them to tell you more about their company, it is better than having nothing.
Some interviewers don't ask you at the end if you have questions, this has happened to me and I simply said " I have a few questions I'd like to ask you. Is this a good time for you?" Chances are they'll say yes. I would say a maximum of 3 or 4 questions is appropriate. Remember ,they're interviewing you, you're not interviewing them.
5. Dont be afraid to say you don't know/don't understand.
Once again this is coming from experience. Many industries have their own lingo and terminology for things. If your interviewer asks you about something and you have no idea what they are talking about ask! Simply say "I'm not really sure what you are referring to could you please explain it for me?" That is a whole lot better than pretending to know and having your answer be completely wrong.
If you couldn't hear their question, ask them kindly to please repeat it.
5. Thank You notes
Oh how the art of writing a thank you note has died. If you cant find their actual physical address to thank them, be sure to send them an email thanking them for their time and that you are looking forward to hearing from them. This helps you to stand out among the other hundreds of applicants and puts your name in their mind one more time.