Raise your hand if you love phone interviews….didn’t think so. They can be intimidating for first time job seekers and taken too lightly by seasoned professionals. Most of the times they’re done by recruiters who are essentially checking to see if the potential candidate at least has a pulse. Well there’s more to it than that, but phone interviews are the first step in what could be a long and drawn out interview process. So many times the interviewee, both young and old makes one of these mistakes that could sink their chances at moving to the next round:
Not Realizing their Volume
Have you ever talked to someone on the phone who sounded like they were screaming at you? It’s not pleasant right. I know you’re excited and probably nervous to be on the phone with the recruiter for your dream job but if you are speaking way to loudly, it can be an immediate turn off. Try and relax lower your voice. If you can’t lower your voice…step back from the phone and you’ll sound less loud. Seems obvious but in the heat of the moment people forget. On the flip side, don’t speak so low the other person can’t hear you. If they have to keep saying “Can you repeat that” or “I can’t hear you” that’s a problem.
Not Speaking Clearly
Again, nerves play a big factor in this one. Remember the first time you called to ask that boy or girl in your class to the Middle School dance? “Hi, um, uh, this is uh Joe, is Brittany um, there? Oh, ah, uh, hi Brittany um, do you, um, want to go to the uh, dance with me on uh Friday?” Pretty painful to even read right. Remember these 5 letters before hoping on your interview: R-E-L-A-X and take a deep breath. The more you worry, the more you sound like your Middle School self, navigating through the dating world.
Too Much Background Noise
Listen I understand it completely. Trying to talk on the fun with CocoMelon on in the background and the guy next-door landscaping his yard for the fifth time in five days but when you do have a phone interview, please, I beg you, find a quiet place. If the interview is important to you, you need to find somewhere as quiet as possible, so have someon watch the kids, and bring your neighbor a sandwich and tell him or her to take a lunch break while you’re on your interview. Yes, recruiters understand the world is different and a lot of people are at home, but have enough respect for their time that you limit the noise.
Many times when you’re on a phone interview, it’s very easy to have your computer up and looking at the job description or your resume. Don’t do this. You should prepare for a phone interview as you would an in-person interview. Believe it or not, a recruiter can tell if you’re fumbling around looking for notes or trying to read from your laptop. Focus, focus, focus. You should be giving your full attention to the phone conversation and not multi-tasking.
These things may seem pretty basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many times clients of mine make these mistakes and it ruins the rest of the interview. So clean it up ladies and gentleman and you’ll be on your way to getting that second interview set up.