My husband started a new job this week. After 15 years and one week with the bank he began working for as a part-time teller in college, he finally moved on. He’d gone as far as he could go at the bank, and he was recruited by a company that the bank decided to work with on a project. The company decided that they were so impressed with him that they negotiated their contract with the bank to include the hiring of my husband to work for their company, but still work with the bank and the contract that they have with the bank. He was elated after visiting their corporate offices, finding out about all the potential for his job and meeting the people he will be working with remotely. He’s thrilled.
However, he’s been spending a lot of time on the phone with his new bosses and his new company. He never had to do an interview since they wanted him and it wasn’t required, but he has spent a lot of time on the phone with them at home and there are a few things we’ve learned. It might not apply to just anyone, but it is advice that will help anyone who is in the process of doing phone interviews for a prospective new job. It’s amazing what a few simple things can do to help a phone interview go more smoothly and easier. Since you’re not meeting in person, it makes a huge difference when you make a good phone impression. Since it’s not that easy to do that without face to face contact, we thought we might help your phone interview game in a major way.
Keep background noise silent
Turn off the television, get a babysitter for the kids and stay inside. While it might be nice to sit on the back patio and conduct your phone interview on a beautiful day, the neighborhood kids screaming or the sound of the garbage truck going by might be a bit distracting to those who are listening to you. You need to be sure they hear you and are not distracted by everything else that is going on in the world.
The most important thing you can do is be prepared. Just because you are not in person and you don’t have to worry about facial expressions and good posture and being able to use notes in front of you doesn’t mean you cannot be prepared. Sure, you can write down important job facts and facts about the company, but you still need to know things off the top of your head or it will become obvious you are reading information from notes and you are not prepared. Be prepared. It’s all right to cheat a bit, but be prepared.
You’ll also want to keep your resume handy so that you can refer to it if you need to. Sometimes an interviewer might ask you to provide a date for them that’s on your resume, and you want to be sure you have the correct date. My husband had to fill out his background information and he wrote down the wrong year he graduated from college and actually had to prove he graduated when they were unable to verify it because he put the wrong year (I mean, it has been a while, but silly man).
Introduce yourself to the speaker
You’re not meeting in person, but you still need to introduce yourself. You still need to make an effort to tell the person to whom you are speaking who you are, what you are doing and why you are looking forward to working with the company. You’ll want to speak up your accomplishments in the industry and you will want to be sure you inform them who you are and what you want.
Speak clearly and be sure you are taking your time and not rushing. It’s difficult on the phone at times, too, but you do need to be sure you are not interrupting your interviewer and that you are not talking over him or her. There are always delays on the phone, so be easy on yourself, but also excuse yourself and apologize if it does happen.
The best thing you can do when you are speaking on the phone is to relax. You know that your interviewer can hear your stress and can even hear it in your voice if you are smiling. Be sure to ask questions that you want to know the answer to and don’t be intimidated. I don’t love talking on the phone, but anytime I have to I keep a glass of water near my so that I can take a sip to calm down and get my voice feeling stronger and more confident when my throat is not dry.
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