Avoid This Common Phone Interview Trap If You Want The Job

By Zach Seybert
In October 24, 2017

Employers often turn to phone interviews as the first step in the hiring process for new employees. This is a cost-effective way for the company to screen candidates and determine whether or not they want to bring them in for a more in-depth interview.

Candidates must prepare for a phone interview just as they would for an in-person interview as it is a shot to show that you are worthy of being brought in for the next step, and ultimately being offered the job. Regardless of the means, an interview is still an interview, so your preparation must be thorough. One benefit of a phone interview is that the candidate can have “cheat sheets” in front of them with some basic information about the company, the interviewer, etc. A drawback of a phone interview is that they can be difficult for the candidate as it is hard to get a read on how the conversation is going based on the lack of visual cues.

On the employer’s end, they are listening closely to your answers and verbal cues (inflection, enthusiasm, etc.). The most common mistake of job seekers during a phone interview, according to The Muse, is sounding tired, bored or disengaged.

Since there are no visual cues to base the discussion off, interviewers are paying very close attention to how you answer their questions. Are you excited? Are you avoiding the question asked because you don’t know how to answer? What about taking forever to answer the question? If you are preparing for a phone interview, Lily Zhang of The Muse suggests to follow three steps to portray yourself in the best light.

Do Some “Power Poses”

Those who do yoga say that it relaxes both body and mind – a great state to be in before and during a job interview. A few minutes before the interview, Zhang recommends doing some “power poses.” These moves can raise testosterone levels, lower cortisol levels and make you sound more confident. If you are confident answering your questions (in person or over the phone), it may help you move forward in the interview process!

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Stand Like A Speaker

Believe it or not, your voice sounds different when lying down, sitting and standing. It goes without saying that during an interview you want your voice to sound its best – when you’re standing. By standing like a “speaker,” your voice will sound dynamic and engaged.

Don’t Forget To Smile

Regardless of interviewing on the phone or in person, nobody wants to work with someone who never smiles. Your qualifications are what get you the interview, but the interview is a time to let your personality shine because that is ultimately what will get you hired. An interviewer does not want to hire someone with whom he or she clashes with in terms of personality, so by showing your excitement you give yourself a better chance to move forward. During a phone interview, your voice will sound more cheerful if you smile while speaking.

Wrap Up

In today’s job market, getting a job is hard enough as it is. With phone interviews being the primary way to first screen candidates, getting past them is crucial. If you take advantage of phone interviews and the ability to interview wherever you want, you may fall into the trap of being “too comfortable” and not take it as seriously as you should. This means doing the interview from the comfort of your own home (which is fine), but instead of getting up and dressed, you do it in your pajamas on the couch. By treating a phone interview with the same importance as an in-person interview, and following the aforementioned suggestions, you will increase the odds of moving onto the next round – one step closer to landing a job!

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.