14 Nov How to nail your phone interview
Most interview processes start with a phone interview. As handy and easy as it sounds, it can also be the biggest interview fear to conquer. Here are what to do and what not to do during a phone interview. It’s very important you are prepared for such interviews.
Test your network: This comes before the interview. Some of our networks cannot be trusted when we need them the most. Prevent this by testing your network several times where you will want to receive the calls. Tell your family and friends “from the abroad” and at home to call you and check out the flow in communication. Have a plan B (a second network) in case the primary network decides to have a mind of its own. The last thing you want to see messing you up is a bad network.
Be in a good and quiet environment: Nothing beats this. Imagine you are well prepared for your interview and you suddenly receive the call to start your phone interview conversations in a rowdy or noisy area, not only will your interviewer get irritated by that, you also won’t come out clear. A quiet environment limits distraction and if you are well prepared, it makes you sound professional and may be coherent. A typical good and quite environment is in a closed room with little or nobody around you. This could be in an office space or your bedroom. Shut the windows to avoid outside noise, switch on the AC or the fan (not the loud ones) and put a “do not knock, I am in an interview” placard in front of the door. You must have informed anyone around about this to avoid any distraction.
Have your notes with you: This is not needed but helpful. First, your notes should only be a guide when communicating your responses. Never for once read your notes during an interview. Experienced interviewers know how to sieve out the wheat (note scanners) from the chaff (note readers). Your notes should have very short answers in form of formulas or mnemonics to serve as visible guide in answering your questions. Use A4 papers spread out across a table instead of note books or jotters. This is because in an attempt to answer a prepared question using a notebook or jotter, you will flip the pages and the interviewers will be able to hear those flip sounds and immediately judge that you are carrying expo. So, play safe.
Don’t write while on the phone: Don’t try to form multi-tasking in this situation, it just won’t help. People tend to write the questions down when listening to the interviewer but what matters the most is whether or not you understand the question. So pay very close attention to the question and ask for a repeat if you need clarity. This also applies to typing.
Don’t use earpiece: Using earpiece is the ‘wrongest’ idea ever during a phone interview. It makes you sound squeaky and incoherent. Just use the phone in the normal way possible (your right or left palm holding the phone in your right or left ear respectively with the speaker directly on the ear and the talking end directly proportional to the mouth). You are ok like that.
Stand: Based on personal experience, when you stand, you sound more confident. You will come out relaxed when you sit. In addition to that, remember you might be scanning your notes on the table; it will be easier to do that when standing. Also, when you stand, your breath is controlled
In summary, I didn’t outline how important it is to prepare for the interview questions because this is an absolute necessary condition. Whether you prepare well, hard or you didn’t prepare well, either ways, you prepared something and you will be judged based on that. The above dos and don’ts are sufficient conditions to moving on to the next round of your interview or probably getting an offer.
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