Phone interviews may seem to be a trap to job seekers.
Your interviewer(s) can’t see you, so why not take a relaxed approach? Well, recruiters consider phone interviews to be very big part of their screening process and being lazy can get you removed from the pool of potential employees.
Like an in-person interview, it’s important to be prepared for a phone interview. Furthermore, there are a few big mistakes you’ll want to avoid making.
Not Remembering the Company
No one expects you to apply for one job, wait patiently for several weeks, get a definitive response to that application and then move on to the next job posting. So you’ll likely be forgiven if it takes you a second to remember the job that the interviewer is calling about. The thing is, however, you should quickly be able to remember at least the job and the company.
If you’re actively job seeking, it’s a good idea to keep a running list of active applications you have out there. Remembering the company and the job lets the recruiter knows your interest in his company is serious.
Conducting the Interview In a Loud Place
You most likely won’t lose points with an interviewer if you pick up the call on a busy street. You will hurt your chances if you try to hold a conversation over the din of police sirens, jackhammers and homeless people asking for change.
If the interviewer calls you at a bad time, make arrangements to reschedule the conversation.
Giving a Bad Introduction
Starting the phone interview off on the wrong foot, maybe because you weren’t expecting the call, can sink your chances of landing the job. It’s important to have a short introduction though out and rehearsed. Try to incorporate why you want the job and what skills you can bring to the position.
Sandbagging Because you Changed Your Mind
Maybe in your research, you turned up some bad information on the company’s work environment. Or maybe you have a better, more promising prospect. In either case, resist the urge to sandbag on the interview and not take it seriously. Your insider information could turn out to be wrong, or your better option might fall through and then blowing off the interview would end out being a huge mistake.
Furthermore, hiring managers often change companies and giving a bad impression could hurt you in unexpected ways in the future.
Have Answers for Probing Questions
Just because it’s a phone interview, that doesn’t mean there are rules against asking very deep and serious questions. The hiring manager might want to know how much you expect to be paid, or how you can make up for the fact you don’t have every skill the company is looking for in a candidate. Recruiters take these phone calls seriously and you should too!