Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Post: How to Ace a Phone Interview

The great guest posts continue to roll in here at Astron Solutions World of HR. Phone interviews can be some of the most stressful parts of an interview process since you can't actually see the person you are speaking to (and sometimes can't hear them well either). Alexis Bonari has a blog post today to help you ace that interview. Alexis is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching arabic scholarships as well as tips on finding archery scholarships. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping. Here is Alexis' guest post:
More and more employers and recruiters have started interviewing potential job candidates over the phone because it is relatively cheap, and can be done fairly quickly. If you are a recent grad student, then participating in a phone interview with a potential employer could be stressful and intimidating.
Because of this, it’s extremely important to take the proper steps beforehand to make sure you are fully prepared for a phone interview in order to succeed in your job search.

The first step in preparing for a phone interview is to make sure your cell phone is completely charged, and that you are in an area with excellent reception. (If you are using a land line then this shouldn’t be a concern for you).

It’s also important to make sure you are in a quiet room so there won’t be any background noise that will distract you as you are on the phone with your (hopefully) future employer.
You should also make sure your phone volume is set on high, and turn off any appliances, or even your TV or stereo, because they could act as potential distractions. (It may even be a good idea to place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door as well, just in case).

The next step is preparing some notes of what you would like to say or bring up during the interview. Write down some questions or even points you want to make beforehand, and have a paper and pen handy so you can write down notes during the interview as well. Remember one of the benefits of a phone interview is that the person interviewing you can’t see what you’re doing, so take advantage of this and lay out pages and pages of notes and questions you want to cover during the interview.

Also it’s extremely important to remember to speak slowly and clearly, and try to avoid drinking, eating, or even chewing gum during the interview, as each sound you make is essentially magnified over the phone. So if the person interviewing you can hear you eat while you talk, they could find it offensive and be easily turned off by your phone etiquette.

To make your voice sound more loud and clear during a phone interview, be sure to speak directly into the phone, or even try standing up so your voice will sound stronger. Also try to avoid saying things like “um” and “er” because these habits are particularly noticeable on the phone. If you try smiling while you talk it will also make your voice sound more upbeat, and will ultimately leave a good impression with the person interviewing you as well.

If you are still feeling nervous and uneasy about a future phone interview, there is no need to be! Remind yourself that a phone interview is actually much less stressful than an in-person interview because your potential employer won’t be judging you by how you look or act, but by what you say. So as long as you prepare what you are going to say beforehand, your phone interview should be a breeze.

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