With global companies spanning multiple locations, and remote working and working from home gaining popularity, it is becoming increasingly normal for employees not to have to travel to the office to conduct their workday. As these trends change, so do those regarding the hiring of employees, as over the phone, and Skype interviews are becoming commonplace, and alleviating, in some cases, the need for a face-to-face meeting. As such, it has never been more appropriate for candidates to be well versed in the art of the phone interview, so here are 3 tips to help you ace one.

Sit-up straight and talk with excitement and confidence

This advice is the same I would give to a candidate if they were embarking upon a face-to-face interview, but may be even more important for one conducted over the phone. Since the hiring manager won’t be able to see your face, or read your body language, the sound of your voice takes on an increased importance. There is a remarkable difference in the sound of someone’s voice if they are slouched, or sitting upright, try it and see! You also need to be able to convey your excitement about the role, but don’t overdo it, and demonstrate confidence with an authoritative voice. Remember your voice is all the recruiter has to go on, so make sure it’s the best one they’ve ever heard!

Don’t allow the recruiter to do all the talking

3 tips to ace that phone interview - don't stay silent

Not being able to see your interviewer can sometimes make it difficult to discern when they have finished a train of thought, and there is an opening for you to have a say, but you need to do your best by listening carefully. You never want to give the hiring manager the impression that they are doing all the talking, or that you have nothing to say. You also want to ensure they know you are still listening, and there aren’t any technical issues at play. So when they pause between sentences it can be useful to say things like “right”, “mhm”, “sure”, or “I understand”, just so they know you are still there listening. Then when the floor opens up, demonstrate your understanding of what they have said by highlighting topics of importance, and giving your thoughts and opinions on them.

Do your research, but don’t rely on reading notes

Again, this advice is equally applicable to face-to-face interviews, being prepared is of paramount importance. The benefit of having an interview over the phone instead of in person, is the ability to have notes in front of you with information about the company, or questions you thought to ask, so that you can ensure you don’t forget anything in the moment. Although this is a good idea, don’t rely on being able to read through pages of notes during the phone call.It will be obvious to the recruiter if your attention is elsewhere, and you are only partially listening. Instead, jot down some bullet points that you can quickly glance at if necessary, to remind you of important information.

Generally there is a misnomer surrounding the difference between a phone interview and one that is face-to-face, and as such the advice given for each. The truth is that, whether in person or not, an interview is still an interview, and all the advice I would give for a face-to-face also applies to over the phone. Just remember, your voice is your main selling point here, so if you are uncertain, try practicing beforehand, as it could help regulate your tone, and reduce anxiety!

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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