Phone interviews are done to screen you out. Phone interviews only allow a first impression. You have to prepare for your phone interview, so you can get to the next step, an in-person interview.
- Find the right place. You cannot interview well at your desk at work if others can hear you or interrupt you. At home with kids is better than the office if you may be interrupted. At home you aren’t hiding anything. You don’t sound secretive. Outside the building on your cell phone is better than worrying about the guy in the next cubicle as you talk. Reserve a conference room or shut your office door if you can. If you have to be secretive, you will sound like a lying sneak. Find a place where you can talk openly.
- Look good. Sit up or stand. Smile. Your posture affects the way your voice sounds. A smile or frown has a huge effect. You really can hear what a person looks like.
- Pause before the call. Get mentally prepared for the interview 5 minutes before it starts. Grab a piece of paper and write down the questions you want to ask. Make a list of your accomplishments that will most impress the interviewer. Make notes about the company on a piece of paper just to reset your mind. You need to be thinking about the phone interview 5 minutes before the call starts. You will be much sharper.
- Do your research. At the very least, read their website. If you don’t know what it is, call the company switchboard and ask. Google the company and the person you are interviewing with. Go to LinkedIn and see who you can find that works there. You may get lucky and find out some information that will be helpful. It will show you really are interested in the company. Figure out who you know in the company and give them a call. Don’t forget to grill your recruiter if one got you the phone interview.
A phone interview is only going to be a first impression. Take a few extra minutes to be positive it is a good impression.
Something to do today
Do it again: Next time you talk to a stranger on the phone, decide what they look like. Were they smiling, attentive, and interested or bored? Are they liars or scrupulously honest. What do they look like? Hair, height, skin, clothes. Figure out why those pictures come into your mind