6 Ways to Ease the Stress of Phone Interviews
Phone interview skills are often neglected in favor of tricks that help candidates nail the face-to-face interaction, but in truth, without phone skills, you may never make it that far.
Many companies use phone interviews as their initial vetting tool before inviting candidates in for the next step. To put that another way, companies use phone interviews as a culling method to decide which candidates aren’t worth moving down the recruitment pipeline.
Phone interviews might sound easier than sweating it out face-to-face, but they have their own challenges that candidates should prepare for.
1. Look Presentable
Your first step is to get dressed, brush your teeth, and prepare yourself for your call. This has to do with getting yourself in the right headspace before the interview begins; by dressing professionally and getting ready in the same way as you would for a face-to-face, you’ll be psychologically primed to perform at your best. It might sound silly, but as we’ll touch on below, there are many subtleties that go into phone interviews, and every little bit helps.
2. Ask Questions
Posing questions to the interviewer is an essential part of your due diligence during phone interviews.
Questions show that you’re a candidate who isn’t just jumping at any opportunity that comes your way. They indicate that you’re curious about the specifics of the job and whether your unique skills will be a good match for the company. Try to keep your questions focused on the company itself and your responsibilities rather than more self-serving topics, such as salary or benefits.
3. Practice Your Phone Speech
Even those who ace face-to-face interviews can struggle on the phone. We pick up many subtle body language clues when we communicate face-to-face; without these, we have fewer ways of knowing how well the interview is going.
Practice your phone speech with others to get acclimated to the process. Speak slowly and with confidence. Try to eliminate verbal tics, and to be extra thorough, record yourself in a practice interview and listen for problems before going live with your interviewer.
4. Use Your Resources
Use any and all resources at your disposal to make the interview easier. You as the candidate have an advantage on the phone—you can unashamedly look at your résumé as a cheat sheet when describing qualifications and work experience. And if you have any other resources, such as an online portfolio or personal website, direct the interviewer to it to give them more information about you.
5. Match Your Qualifications to the Job
Here’s another way you can leverage your résumé to your benefit while on the phone. Make notes beforehand about how your unique experience qualifies you for your new position. Tie each of your résumé’s bullet points back to the new job’s responsibilities to stress how much value you can bring to the table.
6. Send a Thank You Email
Yes, something as simple as the humble “thank you” can go a long way after a phone interview. Phone interviews are already a bit impersonal compared to a face-to-face, and with the sheer volume of candidates applying for desirable positions, it can be hard to stand out. Thanking the interviewer for his/her time is polite, but it also creates an additional touchpoint for the interviewer to remember you by.
Ace Your Phone Interview
Phone interviews are easier than face-to-face interviews in some ways and more challenging in others. Most importantly, try to keep a confident and measured tone of voice, and practice, practice, practice before your scheduled interview arrives.
For more information about how to ace interviews—or to learn how to structure your phone interviews to vet the most desirable candidates—contact Urgenci for a recruitment consultation.