I have conducted thousands of phone interviews in my career and candidates continue to make the same mistakes. For some reason most candidates feel that phone interviews are not really interviews at all, they are just a phone call about a job, and they can be doing whatever they happen to be doing and take the call. Driving, children's soccer game, doctor's appointment, Happy Hour, walking in a wind tunnel, whatever. What they do not realize is this phone call is the path towards their next job or career.
Reality check. Candidates, if you do poorly on the call then you have no chance for an interview and no job. You may also not realize that it could affect future employment with that company. If you are speaking to a recruiter like me, then you could potentially prevent yourself from being considered for any jobs with any of the companies that I represent.
Phone Interviews are interviews over the phone. The interviewer is not your buddy, not your bro, pal or anything else except maybe your potential boss or someone else that can and will decide your fate in the hiring process. So please, please take it seriously.
Okay, now that the tough talk is finished, "how do I prepare for a successful phone interview?"
Okay let’s start off with a list of what not to do:
Never take the interview somewhere noisy
Don’t talk about your personal life
Resist the urge to multitask.
Skip the money conversation
Never put your interviewer on hold
Never skip asking questions
Don’t be late
Don’t assume reception is good
Never talk over the Interviewer
Skip filler words – Minimize “um,” “uh,” and “like”
Don’t go in blind – Study the job description and company
Nix long-winded answers – Be concise and to the point
How to crush the interview:
Focus and cut out all the distractions
Do some research before the interview.
Listen, really listen
Prepare your own cheat sheet/notes
Slow down, take your time and try smiling while you are talking
Be ready for common interview questions
Send a thank you email after phone interview
Take It As Seriously As An In Person Interview THIS IS AN INTERVIEW! Treat it like one! That means be ready! Be yourself and be committed to the process.