Although many job seekers tend to view phone-based job interviews as a laid back or casual endeavor, this is rarely the case. In fact, many employers conduct initial interviews over the phone as a means of gauging a candidate’s overall personality, demeanor, and attitude.
Conducting a job interview over the phone does not mean that you should forego professionalism. Phone-based job interviews should be conducted with an even greater sense of professionalism. Because the interviewer(s) can’t see you, and because they will not be able to read your body language, it is important that you let your tone of voice, confidence, and overall demeanor take over.
Research Questions and Rehearse Answers
One of the most valuable steps you can take before entering into a telephone job interview is to research potential questions and rehearse your answers beforehand. You will not be able to account for every possible question that may be asked, but you can certainly prepare for the more common interview questions. If necessary, write your answers down for quick reference during the actual interview.
For example, nearly every interviewer will ask you to describe your previous career experiences. Having an updated copy of your resume in front of your during the phone call ensures that you are prepared to detail your past experiences when asked.
Most interviewers will also ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Again, it is a good idea to have a list in front of you that includes your most valuable qualities, as well as some your difficulties. Interviewers understand that we are all human, so don’t be afraid to mention some of your weaknesses. If nothing else, it paints you as an upfront and honest individual.
Make Your Answers Relevant to the Role in Question
Although you can expect to be asked several vague or generic questions during the interview process, the interviewer doesn’t want you to respond with a vague or generic answer. Instead, try to present answers that are not only relevant to the question, but that pertain to the position you are applying. This is an excellent way to show your motivation and enthusiasm for the company. Remember to smile, a smile may not be seen, but it is heard.
Secure a Quiet Location
It is important to ensure a quiet area before entering into a phone-based job interview. Loud pets or children playing in the background will not only serve as a distraction, but they may even distract the interviewer on the other end of the line.
Finally, never accept a phone interview while you are driving. Not only is it dangerous to you and the other drivers on the road, but the noisiness of the road will make it difficult to conduct a phone interview at all.
Demonstrating Your Worth Over the Telephone
While some see phone-based interviews as being less stressful and easier to manage than traditional, face-to-face meetings, others find it more difficult to sell themselves over the telephone. Regardless of your stance on the topic, it is important you make the most out of the initial phone-based interview. It could mean the difference between an invitation for a face-to-face interview or continuing your job search.
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