Prior to the interview, it is important to address the key challenges that phone interviews present to potential candidates. These problems are not issues you have to worry about in live situations so it is best to deal with them before the employer rings.
- Having a low battery: Make sure your phone is charged to 100% prior to the interview. If your battery dies in the middle of the interview, it will take some time to charge it up again leading you to have to call the interviewer back and explain an extraneous issue that you shouldn’t have had to deal with in the first place.
- Having a bad location: Places like coffee shops, public office spaces, or any outdoor locations are not ideal to be in during phone interviews because there are simply too many distractions that you won’t be able to control for. Additionally, if you are thinking about interviewing at home but have young children, make sure they are put to sleep or are in another room where they can’t be heard by the potential employer.
- Poor audio quality: An unfortunate reason for employers to weed you out of the interview process, having poor audio quality can lead to misunderstandings that don’t get resolved. For example, you might have the solution to a very important question the interviewer had but because of the poor audio quality, they may have misheard what you were actually saying. This is very easy to fix and technical issues shouldn’t be the reason why you didn’t land the job.
One major solution to all of these problems is to do a mock phone screen with a friend or family member a few days to the day before the interview. This will give you adequate time to identify and control for any potential trip-ups before the real interview.
1. Preparation is Key
If you prepare for the interview like it is a normal, in-person interview, then you shouldn’t have much of a problem. Research the company, prepare to talk about your resume and questions they might have, know who you are speaking to and their role, and come up with any questions about the company of your own.
**Bonus points: Try wearing what you would wear to a normal interview. Actors do this when preparing for a role so it helps them get into the mindset of the character beforehand. You can take this same principle and apply it to how you want to present yourself during the phone interview. Sometimes it really is the clothes that make the man.
2. It’s Just Like A Normal Interview…But With A Twist (A Good One)
Going off the previous point, you’ll want to behave as if it is a normal interview. Remember to listen actively and smile as you normally would when interacting with someone else in a face to face situation. Unlike a physical conversation, however, you have the ability to reference your resume as well as take notes. By taking advantage of this, you’ll put yourself in a better position than other candidates that do not. Additionally, you’ll want to take good notes. You don’t want to forget to send over that document you promised you would simply because you forgot to write it down.
3. Same Dog, New Tricks
If I were to write up an article about the ways in which phone interviews are similar to in-person meetings, it would be much longer than this article. That is because the two are essentially the same but with some minor curve balls thrown in. Asking follow-up questions, noting key dates, and asking what the next steps are are crucial things to do whether you are doing a phone interview or a live one.
Keeping these three key ingredients in mind when prepping for your next phone interview will serve you well as you attempt a career change. Although you will need to put in the hard work into effectively communicating why you are the best candidate to fill the company’s staffing needs, being prepared on the technical aspects of the phone interview versus face-to-face conversation will give you the freedom to focus on what is important.