Okay, how many of you hate phone interviews? Everyone raise their hands? Yeah, me too. It's hard to showcase your personality, you can't bounce off the other person's energy and technical glitches always happen at the worst moments. Been there, done that my friends.
Unfortunately, phone interviews are a necessary evil for the majority of positions and companies. So, how do you get past the awkward and showcase your chops, ultimately landing that coveted in-person interview? Read on for a few of my favorite tricks.
Dress the Part
How many of you have taken a phone interview in your pajamas? I mean, the interviewer can't see you right - so why not be comfortable? Right?
Not so fast.
Just because you aren't sitting with the interviewer face-to-face doesn't mean that you should dress like you just rolled out of bed with stinky breath and un-dry shampoo'd hair. If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you'll do good. It's as simple as that. A mental shift happens when you dress your best. A confidence emerges that just isn't there if you're still in your workout clothes from two days ago. So put on the same outfit you would interview in - something clean, professional and fitting to the culture of the company.
Don't Ramble....and Smile
The biggest issue I see people run into during phone interview stage is their need to ramble on and on and on. When the interviewer asks a simple question like, "So, tell me about yourself," this is not your opportunity to carry on for ten minutes, detailing the whole E! True Hollywood Story version of your life. Keep all your answers short and simple and intentional. A good rule of thumb is if you haven't heard the other person speak in 2-3 minutes - you're talking too much.
Another thing people don't realize is how boring they can sound on the phone. You may not be a boring person, but your "phone voice" may come across as monotone and uninterested. That is definitely not the impression you want to be making. So the #1 way to solve that problem (other than getting your VoiceOver Artist friend to take the interview for you) is to smile while talking. Put a mirror in front of your face, write yourself a sticky note - I don't care. Smiling while you talk will immediately lift the tone of your voice and also resonate through the phone. Don't believe me - give it a try next time you're chatting with a friend or family member!
The biggest reason people fail at interviews, particularly the phone variety, is because they fail to be themselves. They get so nervous that they lose sight of who they are and try to morph into this unnatural professional version of themselves. And you know what? They come off incredibly disingenuous.
Take a deep breath. Be professional, but most of all be yourself. Let your personality shine through and be confident! Confidence goes a long way and part of that comes with just being yourself.
I know phone interviews are the worst - but let them work for you. If you nail this stage of the job process, you'll be way ahead of your career-hungry competition!
Interested in learning more of my top secret tips? Sign up for a career coaching session!