There are an increasing number of interviews conducted over the phone, and it is important to pay attention to your phone skills. When you think about it, your interview will probably be set up with a phone call and that call will influence the impression you make. You can’t control where you will be when the call comes in to schedule an interview, but if you know what will sabotage your chances of a job, then you can control as much as possible.
- Background noise is distracting. If you are called in a noisy environment, apologize and get to a quiet spot immediately. But don’t make the mistake of going into the bathroom to be alone because the hard surfaces cause an echo that is unmistakable and the potential for another customer to make noise you don’t want is always there. Arrange to talk further in another place.
- If you are actually doing a phone interview, treat it like you would any other meeting. Be prepared with all documents (resume, etc.) and be alone in the room. Don’t have the tv on or background music.
- No gum, food, or drink. Talking with something in your mouth will change the way you sound, even if they can’t see you.
- Smile and sit up straight. People can tell by the sound of your voice when your smiling. Smiling while you are talking exudes confidence and ease. Practice to a friend if you need to. Sitting up in a straight-backed chair will make you feel slightly less relaxed and more professional, and remind you that even if you and the other person are hitting it off, you are still on an interview.
During a phone call the only information that is transmitted is by sound. Anything that will adversely affect that sound will cause problems so take care to remove yourself from any interruptions..