Meagan Weekes is a guest contributor to my Blog. She has written an interesting article outlining key tips to help you in phone interviews. Enjoy the read…

Phone interviews are perhaps the trickiest of them all. Despite the fact that you can technically take a phone interview in your most unkempt state, since your potential employer would not even know if birds were nesting in your hair, the trade off is much greater than it appears to be.

When you are having an interview in person or via Skype, you are engaging your interviewer on multiple levels. They can see you. They are getting a fuller picture of who you are, and a stronger first impression. In order to leave a strong impression as a faceless voice over the phone, you might need to work a little harder to win the favor of an interviewer.

Do Not Skip on the Preparation:
If you do not know much about the company or you do not have information that you have not memorised available to you, do not wait until you get asked a question you did not know was coming. If you are shuffling through papers or typing a mile a minute in order to respond to something appropriately, the interviewer will know you are ill prepared and stalling. Take care to research everything you would research for an in-person interview. Make sure you have everything you would bring with you around you while you are on your phone interview. You want to replicate as much of an in-person interview as possible. The feeling and tone should be the same, despite the fact that you can’t see each other.

Find the Right Place to Be:
Although it may sound like a great idea, do not take your phone interview in bed. If you are too comfortable, you will not be as alert as you need to be. If you are not somewhere you would be able to intensely focus on something like a mathematics test, you are probably not in the right environment to take a phone interview.

Make sure the chair you are in is comfortable enough to sit in for a while, but not comfortable enough to nap it. Isolate yourself from outside noises or distractions that could interrupt the interview.

Give Yourself Shortcuts:
This is one area where phone interviews might have the advantage over other types of interviews. If you read and practised your answers to interview questions and you are afraid you are going to forget your important talking points, jot them down on a notecard. If it is right in front of you, the interviewer will have no idea you are working from a cheat sheet.

Work on Your Pacing:
It is so easy to start talking over each other on the phone. You can tell when someone is about to speak when you are sitting across from them, but the phone leaves the physical cues a mystery. After the interviewer has finished talking, wait a few seconds before you start to respond. Nothing will get lost in translation. Even if it seems like the interviewer has finished talking, take a breath, slowly count to three, and then begin your response.

Do Not Forget the Follow Up:
After a traditional interview, you might make a follow up phone call. After you have gotten off the phone with them, it does not make much sense to call them back later in the afternoon or the next day to thank them. In these scenarios, an email follow up is great. Rehash the most valuable parts of your discussion in your email thanking them for the interview opportunity. You will be making yourself a little more memorable and keeping the call fresh in the interviewer’s mind.

If you are still unsure about this whole phone interview thing, use your imagination. Get dressed like you are going to a real interview, and pretend the interviewer is sitting right in front of you. If you treat it as a simulation of the real thing, it is more likely to feel authentic.

Meagan Weekes works at as a Content Manager. She enjoys sharing career tips and her broad work experience; and specialises in developing business ideas, career advancement and networking.


Annie Cerone