How to Ace a Phone Interview

Recent graduates and other job seekers are expanding their employment search, sometimes even internationally, so it only makes sense that a more convenient and time-effective mode of interviewing has become the new norm.

According to U.S. News and World Report, phone interviews have become the preferred method of candidate screening in recent years. The thought of being interviewed in your pajamas from the comfort of your bed sounds way more appealing than sweating through a new pencil skirt from Loft while being grilled in an unreasonably hard office chair. But this situation actually still calls for a more serious approach, as it can be even more challenging than meeting in-person. A phone interviewee will have to juggle how to make her personality shine through via the telephone while illustrating her professional demeanor. Fear not, College Gloss has tips to conquer the call.

Plan Ahead
Just because you don’t have to travel to an office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allot some time for preparation. Under no circumstances should you be picking up an interview call when you’ve woken up five minutes prior -- frog voice is not professionally appealing. Wake up at least an hour beforehand to splash some cold water on your face, have a cup of coffee or do whatever it is you need to do to be awake and alert. When you pick up that phone, you should be sharp and attentive.

In many ways, the phone interview can be slightly more intimidating than a face-to-face interview. After all, you can’t woo your prospective employer with a smile, and it’s extremely difficult to read a person when you can’t see their face. Thus, it’s imperative that you’re calm and unruffled. Being nervous or anxious might translate over the phone as panicky or frazzled. (Side note: there’s absolutely no shame in calling your mom half an hour before your scheduled interview time. Quick pep talks can work wonders!)

Get Dressed
I know what you’re thinking: “Why in the WORLD would I get dressed in business casual to sit in my dorm room and talk on the phone?!” It seems incredibly silly. However, as I’m sure any College Gloss reader knows, clothes can drastically affect mood. It’s shocking how much more professional you feel after putting on a blazer and a pair of pearl studs. If you want to go the extra mile, open up your Skype or Photobooth application so you can see yourself while you’re on the phone. Viewing yourself in boss mode will give you a confidence boost.

Open up your Laptop
Here is a serious advantage to the phone interview: you can reference your resume! Sometimes in a face-to-face interview, it’s easy to blank out due to feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. It’s often not until you’ve gotten back to your dorm and kicked off your heels that you realize you completely forgot to mention the amazing project you worked on at your last internship or the successful fundraiser your sorority threw for Autism awareness. On a phone interview, you have the privilege of having your resume right in front of you, allowing you to easily reference past accomplishments. You can also open up a Word Doc and have some pre-prepared answers available for the questions you KNOW will be asked because no interview would be complete without the obligatory “What’s your biggest strength?”/“What’s your biggest weakness?” (Brush up on more common Q's with this list.)

Take It Seriously
Finally, it’s imperative to keep in mind that besides format, this interview is no different than any other. That being said, remember to do your research on the company, thank the interviewer for his or her time, and send a thank-you note or e-mail post-interview expressing gratitude for the opportunity. Anything that you would before or after a typical face-to-face interview, do it here. Remember, the objective is still the same: to get the job!

By: Adjoa Bruce | Image: Source

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1 comment :

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