More interviews are conducted over the phone these days as a faster way to whittle down the pool of candidates. But keep in mind a phone interview is still an interview and requires the same level of preparation as a face-to-face interview. Although you don’t have to worry about your outfit selection, sweaty palms or traffic, you do need to figure out how to stand out. Some people do exceptionally well over the phone while others struggle. One of the things that make a phone interview more challenging is the fact that you can’t read the interviewer’s body language, nor can they read yours. However, they can tell a lot by the tone of your voice. More often than not, people will remember how you said something more than what you actually said. Keep in mind your goal is to develop rapport with the screener and make it to the next round.
Here are some tips that will help make you stand out from the crowd.
Practice, practice, practice. Ask a friend to practice over the phone with you so you can figure out exactly how you sound and what you may need to modify.
Try a headset and hand held phone to determine which one sounds and works better for you.
Get dressed for the interview like you would for an in person interview. You will feel more confident and prepared.
Collect all the information you need for the interview and make sure you have it at your fingertips. You want to be prepared for any question.
Stand over your desk while talking. Standing allows you to breathe more deeply. The deeper you breathe, the better you sound. It will help reduce anxiety too.
Look in the mirror while talking. Keeping a happy expression on your face will make your sound friendly and pleasant.
Don’t interrupt or talk over the interviewer. Take your time and listen to the person as if you were in a face-to-face situation.
Be engaging, interesting and informational. Don’t sound like a robot.