Telephone Tenacity: Your Guide to Acing Your Next Phone Interview

Telephone Tenacity: Your Guide to Acing Your Next Phone Interview

by Jason Kelly, Healthcare Recruiter, Acclivity Healthcare

With the fast pace and limited time of the modern business world, managers are turning to their phones to interview prospective employees, especially early on in the process. Though many candidates find phone interviews less stressful, they do present unique challenges. To meet these challenges head-on and get the job, remember to:

Deal With Distractions


The flexibility of a phone interview is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you are free to speak from whatever location is best for you. On the other, you are responsible for choosing a location with no loud sounds or distractions. If you fail to avoid disruptions on your end, the interviewer will blame you for poor planning, making you less likely to get the job. So, before you begin a phone interview, find a quiet location where you will not be disturbed.

Consider Call Quality


In addition to seeking silence, you must also give the interview from a location with reliable phone service. As with distractions, the interviewer may interpret a poor signal as evidence that you did not plan ahead. Thus do everything you can to ensure that your phone service is as reliable as possible. If you cannot find reliable service, let your interviewer know ahead of time and suggest alternatives, such as conducting the interview over Skype or Google Hangout.

Have Research Ready


Research is critical for any interview, yet candidates often assume that if they are not giving the interview in person, they can look up facts as they need them. Conducting your research on the fly, however, means that you will not have time to absorb and interpret it properly. Worse yet, if you pause after each question to look up information, your interviewer will view you as unprepared. Instead, research all the facts ahead of time and make a list of everything you need to know so you can quickly consult your notes.

Seek Intelligent Speech


“Ums,” “uhs,” “likes,” and “you knows” reflect informal, unfocused speech. They don’t belong in any interview, but you are particularly likely to slip into them over the phone, especially if you’re speaking from your house or some other casual location. You must be especially vigilant against casual phrasings. Consider practicing with a friend before the interview; have them ask you generic employment questions and alert you every time you stumble over the answer.

Practice Positivity


Positivity is as important in phone interviews as it is in person, but because the interviewer cannot see your face, it is harder to communicate it. One trick to give your voice a positive sound is to smile while you are speaking. Even though the other party will not see it, smiling is a catalyst for other happy habits, including an upbeat, excited pattern of speech. Smiling will also make you feel happier, helping you to remain calm in the face of a high-stakes interview.

Write Wisely


Take notes throughout the interview, writing down every key fact about the job and organization. This will help you stay focused and remember everything the interviewer says; you can thus avoid asking for clarification, which may convince the interviewer that you weren’t paying attention. You will also remember any steps you need to take after the interview.