Receiving a phone interview invite from a potential employer is a step in the right direction.
It means your resume actually appealed to the hiring manager or team to make them want to learn more about you.
While a phone interview may be shorter than a real interview, and doesn’t require a suit or solid handshake, it is your first chance to give the hiring manager a snapshot of your accomplishments.
Too often, jobseekers take phone interviews casually not realising that if you flop, you will likely be out of the running for the job and won’t make it to the next step in the hiring process.
Here are some common phone interview mistakes to that you must avoid:
1. Not finding a quiet place to take the call
Before the phone interview, ensure you are away from any noisy distraction like a crying baby, barking dogs, loud vehicles or machinery.
If you own a number of phones, remember to switch off all the others apart from the one that you will be using.
Be sure to turn off the sound and chat applications on your computer so you aren’t distracted by any notifications.
It is also important to notify anyone necessary that you will be in a phone interview and cannot be interrupted during the period of time that has been allotted for it.
2. Not having confidence and composure
Your confidence during the phone interview will be transmitted and felt by the interviewer through your voice.
Just because the interview is over the phone and the interviewer doesn’t see you, it doesn’t mean you should do the interview in your bathrobe, slouching and groggy-voiced.
Put some serious effort into your appearance; take a good shower and dress up properly beside paying close attention to your posture during the session.
This simple steps will make a huge difference in your confidence levels and how it will be perceived by the interviewer.
Also, do your best to avoid bad grammar habits such as saying “um”, “you know” and “like”.
3. Not preparing
The rule of thumbs is; never treat phone interviews as an informal chat.
It is a normal interview which demands proper and adequate preparation beforehand.
This means researching the company, becoming familiar with the job description, and preparing answers for common interview questions, such as why you are interested in the position and what relevant experience you have.
4. Not being aware of the time available
Most phone interviews take an average of 20-30 minutes. The advent of Skype has significantly prolonged this average time.
Knowing that you will spend less time on the interview means you need to prepare your key talking points to avoid wasting time on irrelevant conversations.
This will help you give the best overall representation of your skills and experience within the available time.
Always keep your eye on the clock so you have an idea of where you are at, and how much more time you have to cover whatever else you need to.
5. Not having reference materials in front of you
Phone interviews have one big advantage over the face to face sessions; you can have reference materials before you.
You could draft information about the company, your resume, and any important notes.
Having these handy will make it much less likely you will freeze up or draw a blank at any point during the phone interview
6. Not asking about the next step
It may be awkward trying to call back the interviewer after you hang up the conversation to ask about some information that you didn’t seek during the conversation.
At the end of the phone interview, don’t make the mistake of leaving things too open-ended.
Remember sure to thank the interviewer and express any interest you have in the position.
Always remember to ask what the next step will be in the hiring process, and when you can expect to hear from them again.