What comes to mind when you think about a phone interview? For most people, the image of just a guy at home sitting at his desk, with his top half wearing a nice suit and tie, bottom half covered only by a pair of American Eagle boxers comes to mind. He’s on his computer when there’s a pause in dialogue, scrolling through his Facebook feed, not really paying attention to what is being said because really, this is “just a phone call”. That could not be further from the truth.
Time and time again, we at JTL Services hear back from clients about candidates who seemed to be distracted during a phone interview. The majority of candidates we forward to clients are subjected to a phone interview before an on-site interview is scheduled. Most candidates just go ahead and schedule the call during a time when they’re either driving on their way to or from work, or just when they have some free time at home during the evening. While the former may seem like an efficient use of time to some, it really just comes off as if the candidate doesn’t respect the interviewer’s time. There are always distractions that come into play when driving, be it reckless drivers around you, loud traffic, or roadwork, making it extremely difficult to completely focus on the interview at hand.
My biggest takeaway from this blog is this: treat phone interviews the exact same as their in-person counterparts, minus the fancy clothes. The perfect time to set up a phone interview is at a time when you know you can distance yourself from any distractions. You also need to find a way to get some energy into your voice, as you want to be more entertaining than Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A great way to do that is by standing up and watching yourself through a mirror while talking. Grab yourself a headset so you can move your hands around, really simulating a face-to-face conversation. For more interview tips like this, check back here weekly!