For some the prospect of an interview doesn’t seem like a big deal until they are told it will be conducted over the phone. Having to rely on someone getting a good judge of character just from your voice may be a worry if you’re a big non-verbal communicator it can be a challenge. Don’t panic and run for the hills however, we’ve got the best tips to give you a boost of confidence and show you how to have a great phone interview!
Practise makes perfect
Telephone interviews are often scheduled in advance but they can also be a surprise that comes at any point during the day. Don’t let the latter put you off though as you can still get practice in before the real thing. If you have a habit of ‘umm’ing and ‘ahh’ing, try a run through of what you might say and keep repeating it until you feel like your hesitation is lessening.
You may not know exactly what an interviewer will say or ask, but you can cover safe ground like why you want the role or why you’d be a good fit, where you see yourself five years from now, talking about your most relevant accomplishments and even the dreaded ‘what is your greatest weakness’ question. If you feel like you’ve got a good grip on some interview staples you’ll sound more prepared and less nervous.
Right time, right place
If the phone call does come at an unexpected time, one of the top tips on how to have a great phone interview is not to have it until you’re ready. We’re not suggesting you call it off for weeks and weeks, but if you’re in a noisy location and surrounded by distractions then you can answer and politely inform them that you will move to a better area and request their number so you can call them back in five or ten minutes.
It may not be ideal to end the call straight away but it’s better to be in a calm, quiet location where you can concentrate and the caller can hear you properly.
Know before you go
If the idea of a disembodied voice judging you down the phone makes you nervous the last thing you want is more nerves and stress because you don’t know what to say. Just like practising answering questions, you have to make sure you’ve done your homework. You need to research the company’s history, its beliefs and values and the requirements of the position you’re applying for to show the interviewer that you were ready to impress them.
This will give you back a feeling of control and put you at ease knowing that words shouldn’t escape you, as well as signifying to the caller that you are clearly interested and dedicated to getting the job. It may seem crazy, but also make sure that you know your CV. It’s easy to forget some of your accomplishments if you haven’t looked at it since you submitted it and if you know your key skills you can adapt your answers to suit them and show how useful they would be.
Don’t be Violet Beauregarde
Much like the character from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Miss Beauregarde was famous for always chewing gum which is a big NO. It should be obvious to avoid but never eat while taking a phone interview or chew anything, this is incredibly rude and just off-putting. If you feel your voice may go hoarse have a drink of water before you take the call. If you’re worried about sudden dryness or a tickle that won’t go away, you can keep a glass of water handy. You shouldn’t drink all the way through of course, but you can excuse yourself and have a quick sip before continuing.
Smile and the interviewer smiles with you
Telling you to smile may seem like an odd suggestion when they can’t see your face, but it’s actually one of the best ways how to have a great phone interview. On a biological level, smiling aids the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which boost your mood and help you feel less stressed by lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
On a psychological level, body language can be communicated even verbally and smiling as you talk will make you sound more positive and enthusiastic than speaking with a neutral expression so get grinning!
Ready to conquer your fears? Talk to our friendly team who will find the perfect opportunity to impress for you!