As a Regional Manager for iD Tech, I interviewed and hired about 90% of my staff each season over the phone. Phone interviews have their own set of unique challenges and advantages for both the applicant and the interviewer. I want to share some tips for any interviewee who is preparing for an upcoming phone interview.
HOW TO PREPARE
- Blind practice.The anonymity of a phone interview can be unnerving for many. If you tend to rely on body language to gauge your audience, this style of interviewing will likely not be your preferred. I would like to suggest you practice interviewing without a visual. Sit back to back with your practice interviewer, OR avoid looking in a mirror when responding. Get comfortable with long pauses or a lack of verbal or physical response after a response.
- Set your stage. A phone interview is easy to get distracted by your environment (and then throw your off your “game”). Turn off the tv, close your laptop, close your door (and leave a note for others to not disturb during the allotted time). Make sure wherever you decide to do your interview has good phone reception, and a comfortable place to sit. HINT:Hands-free headsets are ideal for phone interviewing! No neck pain, no accidental hang-up or mute button, and now your hands will be free to doodle if that’s what you need to stay focused.
- Be prepared to take notes. With no person to look at, our mind can easily wonder and get off track. Help yourself and write key words to keep you focused on the question at hand. You can also write questions as they come to your mind, so you can ask at an appropriate time. HINT: Practice this skill during your “Blind Practice”
ADVANTAGES OF A PHONE INTERVIEW (for the applicant)
- Physical Comfort. You can sit in your favorite chair, in your favorite position, in your favorite outfit. No hard, uncomfortable chairs with no lumbar support to worry about, because you can set your stage to be whatever you need it to be!
- Anonymity. The person on the other end of the line matters, they hold a job opportunity, but let’s say during this interview you realize this is not the job for you… that can be far easier to say over the phone than when you are looking into someone’s eyes. Phone interviews can make difficult conversations easier.
- Twitchy- that’s ok! If you tend to move around, adjust your clothing, touch your face or hair when you are nervous, a phone interview may be ideal for you. The interviewing manager won’t know that you had to scratch your nose while answering that last question, yay!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I’ll be sharing more Interview Tips soon!