Working from home means sometimes PR agencies and/or companies contact me to write an article about their services or a particular client. Since I’m not usually located anywhere near the people I need to write about, I rely a lot on the phone to interview people for an article – and naptime since it is impossible to have any sort of phone conversation with children present (can I get an amen from the other mothers?!). While I’m not necessarily being interviewed over the phone, I feel like an interviewer from time to time and that has inspired me to create a list of suggestions for those who want to ace a phone interview.
Tangible Help Is Good
I rely heavily on a list of questions that I want to ask when I’m interviewing someone over the phone and one thing I’ve learned is that this goes both ways. If you have a phone interview, go ahead and print out your resume and keep it right in front of you so that you can refer to it immediately when it comes to answering questions or remembering important job titles, dates, or employment information. Hemming and hawing to your interviewer as you try to remember exactly what it is you said you are proficient in on your resume is pretty much a turn off.
Use Your Home Phone
Cell phones are great, but nothing says, “Hey! Unprofessional right here!” quite like repeating, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” in the midst of a phone interview. If you cannot use a landline, – or you’re like the rest of us and you haven’t had one in five years – at least conduct your interview somewhere you know you have good service. Dropped calls are not professional.
I can hear your smile over the phone. I know when you’re not interested in talking to me, you’re distracted, or you’re annoyed. A genuine smile comes through loud and clear. You want to conduct your phone interview the same way you would an in-person interview, and that’s with a friendly smile and professional demeanor.