The world of interviewing is changing. Face to face interviews are becoming more prevalent later in the process, rather than in the beginning. Although phone interviews and in-person interviews are different in the sense of location, one cannot treat them as so. The initial telephone interview can either make or break your chances of proceeding to the next step, so full preparation and undivided attention is necessary.
- When the employer calls you, be sure to give them a professional greeting and let them know that you were expecting the call. If you don’t sound assertive enough during the first few seconds, it can seem that you’re not interested.
- Always confirm the appointment immediately after the greeting to verify it is still a good time for the employer or interviewer. These people usually have very full schedules, and may need to ask to reschedule. Don’t forget to thank them for the time, even if it was just to re-schedule the interview.
- If calling from a cell phone, make sure your location will give you quality reception. Poor cell service could damage your chances of getting the next interview, simply because the employer had a hard time hearing you.
- Make sure that the area around you is not noisy. Some noise may be inevitable depending on your current situation. If so, inform the employer as soon as you have said your hellos.
- Having a printed resume and job description in front of you will allow more focus to be on the employer, rather than on your computer. Be wary if you decide to access these documents from your computer while on the phone. Noise travels and the employer may hear the clicks of the mouse and tapping of the keys.
- Do not chew gum or drink loudly while on the phone with a future employer. Many phones are equipped with a mute button. If you must take a sip of water, do not be afraid to mute the call for a few seconds.
- Never forget to thank the interviewer for the opportunity to talk! Also, the same rules apply for thank you notes after an interview. Ask the employer for their contact information so you can send them an e-mail in the near future.
Even though some may think a phone interview is less important than an in person meeting, the volume of applicants and busy schedules of employers are making telephone interviews a necessity. The key is to treat it like you would any face to face interview. First impressions are first impressions. Be sure to impress your potential employer by following the etiquette rules above.
Author: Allison Mullen