During the last twenty years I’ve observed the highest and lowest demands for qualified candidates. Regardless of the economy, finding and hiring great people has always been tough, but what has changed the most is the speed that hiring decisions are made. The first hiring decision is typically made with a phone screen conducted in a casual, get-to-know-you manner. Now, busy schedules and fast-paced industries mean phone interviews, although casual, are serious business. These interviews typically only last 15-30 minutes, but will decide if you move forward in the process. Let’s discuss a few ways you can impress the interviewer during a quick phone interview.
Look the part
. Even though the interviewer can’t see you, your professionalism will transmit through the phone. It’s important to act natural and be yourself, so if you’re an animated speaker, feel free to move your hands while speaking. Good posture, business casual dress and a smile will help you feel more confident and be reflected in your responses.
. Most interviewers will give you a few days notice prior to any interview so determine a quiet, distraction-free place to conduct your phone interview. If you’re using your mobile phone, make sure the reception is ample and there’s no excessive background noise. For the few minutes you have the interviewers undivided attention, be sure to focus on the call and their questions.
Go old school
. Step away from your computer and bring your notes with you. A hard copy of your resume, your findings on the company and additional space for notes is all you need. Keyboard clicking in the background could be perceived by the interviewer as disinterest. Sitting away from your computer will lessen the distraction of checking your e-mail or updating your Facebook status, and also ensure that you’re prepared by doing research ahead of time.
. Phone interviews can be challenging to navigate without the help of body language and cues. Take the opportunity to listen to the questions your interviewer is asking and pause briefly before responding, so you don’t interrupt them.
A phone interview could be the gateway to your new career so being prepared and focused can help you ace this step and move forward in the interview process. Please share your phone interview experiences with us on Facebook
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