How job applicants should prepare for phone interviews
Don’t let the drawbacks of a faceless phone interview keep you from putting your best foot forward. Here’s how.
1. Select a noise-free spot
Choose a place at home that has good mobile phone reception, is noise-free so that the interviewer can hear you clearly, and has no other distractions so that you can pay full attention to the conversation at hand. Also, it is a good idea to sit during the call, not walk around or be in bed.
2. Dress for the part, smile
It may seem pointless to dress up considering you are on phone, but the right clothes will put you in the required frame of mind. So dress like you were appearing for an in-person interview. Similarly, smiling may seem silly, but it will change the tone of voice to make it friendlier and conversational, not a robotic monotone.
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3. Don’t interrupt or dominate
Don’t rush into the conversation. Listen carefully, give a second or two to ensure the interviewer doesn’t want to add something, and then reply calmly and slowly. Don’t keep interrupting the caller for clarifications or try to dominate the conversation by being loud, and replying the instant the caller stops.
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4. Give short, succinct answers
Don’t launch into lengthy answers and try to complete what you are saying even though the interviewer is trying to break your monologue. Keep your replies short, focused and relevant.
5. Research or reschedule
If you have received an unexpected call, don’t hesitate to reschedule it to a more appropriate time so that you get time to research and prepare. If it is scheduled, make sure to research the company and your role in it well.
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6. Keep a cheat sheet
A cheat sheet helps formulate responses without confusion and delay. So, keep your resume, cover letter, a list of questions you want to ask, any notes you want to take, as well as relevant information about the organisation handy with you.
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7. Thank and ask for next step
After the interview has ended, thank the caller for the opportunity and politely ask for the next course of action or response timeline.