by Claire Schmieder, Head Editor, INALJ New Jersey
Gearing up for a Phone Interview
I recently had my first ever phone interview. Obviously, I was excited – and seriously nervous. (I am not what you would call a “phone person.”) The only way for me to relax enough for the phone call was to prepare like crazy. Here’s how I got myself ready for the interview.
Before the interview:
I printed out a hard copy of the job description, my cover letter, and my resume. Because I was going to be on the phone, I knew I’d have the luxury of spreading out papers on a larger surface. I planned on using them to cross off topics that we’d discussed and to take notes during the interview. And, hard copies ensured that I wouldn’t be switching back and forth between documents on my computer screen and that I’d be prepared in case of a power/internet outage or computer failure.
I made sure my house would be quiet so I wouldn’t get distracted. Kids at school? Check. Husband at work? Check. Dog (who’s got a barking problem) in the backyard? Check.
I decided to dress up a little. Or, rather, not wear pajamas. Since this interview was scheduled for the morning, I could have easily done it in PJs. But, I knew I’d feel more confident and put together if I was wearing business casual clothes.
During the interview:
No rambling! No interrupting! Because neither I nor the interviewer could gauge each other’s body language, it was more difficult for both of us to sense the natural breaks in the conversation. Just because the person on the other line is quiet did not mean that I needed to keep talking. If I felt like I’d sufficiently answered their questions, then I stopped talking.
Smile. At least one study has shown that smiling positively affects the tone and pitch of your voice. So even though it felt goofy to smile at an empty room, I did it anyway.
Here are some additional articles on phone interviews that I found helpful while preparing for my own:
Do you do anything special to prepare for phone interviews?