Whenever I tell people I have a phone interview scheduled, they look at me like it’s no big deal. It’s like they think a phone interview isn’t as credible as an in-person interview. I’ve fallen into this thinking before too, but its not right. Here’s why:
I know it sounds silly to get all gussied up for an interview where you wont be seen, but it really does make a difference. It’s important to shower, dress professionally, and have good posture throughout the interview. Why does this matter? It matters because your confidence is revealed through your tone of voice. If you slouch, your breathing will be affected, which will travel through the phone lines. It is also important to shower and dress professionally. This is more a psychological manipulation than anything. The interviewer can’t see you, so it shouldn’t matter, but it does. If you dress the part, you’re more inclined to act the part. You’ll feel more confident, ready, and be more focused. So, don’t be lazy and put on the closest sweats to your bed and think it will go unnoticed.
It’s a phone interview, how can you be late? Easily. First, know who is calling whom. Is the interviewer calling you or are you calling the interviewer? If so, what time? Be sure to calculate time zone differences. How embarrassing it would be to miss an interview due to a time zone discrepancy! (I’ve done it so I would know. It’s pretty embarrassing). Also, be there 15 minutes early. No, I’m not saying to call and ask to be on hold for 15 minutes. I’m saying find a nice, quite, relaxing atmosphere 15 minutes before your interview so you can get situated. It’s a phone interview, so sounds are everything! Make sure there are not any squealing children in the background or an annoying car alarm that could ruin the interview. Stay clear of all distractions, for both you and the interviewer.
One thing good about a phone interview is that you are allowed to cheat a little. You can jot down some notes you want to address in the interview or questions you’ll ask. However, don’t think that you can solely rely on those. You must do your research. A phone interview is kind of like an open book test; you go into it thinking you’ll be fine, but then you run out of time to look up all the answers and you end up bombing the test. In the same sense, don’t expect you’ll be able to look up the company’s core values or CEO while on the phone. Make sure you have general knowledge of the company beforehand.