I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I have never liked phone interviews. Unfortunately for me and everyone in the same boat, an increasing number of employers are now conducting first round interviews over the phone. Phone interviewing has therefore become an essential skill. The following advice may assist in guiding you through a skype or phone interview.
- Schedule a time that works for you
It is more than likely that a time for your phone interview will be scheduled in advance. If it is not however, no one will judge you for rescheduling to a more appropriate time. If you are about to run out the door or sitting on a public train, it is completely acceptable to say something along the lines of “Great to hear from you. I’m not at my desk, would you mind if I give you a call back at some point today? What time would suit you?”
- Be present
In a face to face interview it is natural to nod or smile to show that you understand what the interviewer is asking. When being interviewed over the phone, it is just as essential to give cues to show your interviewer that you are still present.
- Expect silence
Just like in a face to face interview, your interviewer will be taking notes during the interview. This will mean that silences should be expected! Don’t feel the need to fill all silences because more times than not, that is what leads to incoherent answers and unnecessary rambling.
- Eliminate distractions
Eliminating distractions means finding a quiet space where your dog won’t find you. Close facebook, your email or anything else that may distract you so you can give your complete attention to the interview.
The bottom line? Treat a phone interview like you would a face to face interview. Employers will cut candidates based on phone interviews and so if you want the job, you had better take it seriously!