Ways To Ruin Your Phone Interview

In the grand scheme of your job search, a phone interview might not feel like something worth preparing for — but this just isn’t the case.
 
While it’s certainly true a phone interview is a cursory step in early candidate screening, this doesn’t make it any less important than an in-person interview. Job seekers should consider this phase to be an important opportunity to leave a lasting impression on their potential employer.

If you’re not careful, you could easily ruin your chances of moving forward in the hiring process. Here are six ways to blow your next phone interview:

1. Don’t Bother Getting Out Of Bed

Taking an overly casual approach to your phone interview can certainly ensure failure. While your potential employer may not be able to see how you’re dressed or what you’re doing, it will certainly come across in your tone of voice. A phone interview isn’t a time to casually lounge in bed while wearing your sweats. Dressing nicely and sitting up straight at your desk will help you come across as professional and confident during your phone interview.

2 . Don’t Consider Your Environment

A sure-fire way to blow your phone interview is by taking the call in a noisy or distracting environment. No hiring manager wants to hear noise pollution when they’re trying to get a feel for a candidate. It might not always be possible to be at home during your phone interview, so consider looking for an alternative to taking a walk around the block. There are a variety of different quiet places to take your phone interview and some libraries even allow you to rent out rooms by the hour.

3. Just Wing It

Job seekers commonly mistake phone interviews for casual conversations that lack a need for any real preparation. This is a huge mistake since phone interviews are a chance for a candidate to leave a meaningful impression on a hiring manager. A phone interview is just as important as any other kind and involves keen research and preparation. Spend time carefully reviewing your resume, job qualifications, and any information about your potential employer. This will allow you to effectively answer both basic and specific questions.

4. Talk Too Much

Nothing will ruin your chance for a second interview quite like long-winded answers. Rather than seemingly rambling, you should be able to answer every question clearly and concisely. Your interviewer will be looking to see if you can convey your thoughts in a quick and effective manner. While you might want to cover all your bases because you have a lot to share, it’s best to prepare to answer questions in the most concise way possible.

5. Don’t Take Notes

Phone interviews are a great way to learn more about the position and your potential employer. While note-taking isn’t always acceptable during in-person interviews, a phone interview offers a candidate the unique chance to jot down important pieces of information throughout the interview. It’s important to note what kinds of questions they are asking you and any pieces of information they share about the position.

After the interview, you will be able to refer back to your notes to assess how well you answered the questions and to make sure you answer similarly (or even better!) if you get a second interview. These notes will also be a great tool for preparing questions for your next interview.

6. Don’t Ask Questions

If you have no questions for your interviewer, then you probably won’t be moving any further in the hiring process. Your lack of questions will present you as a candidate who is simply uninterested and unprepared. Be sure to prepare questions that express your interest in a variety of different aspects of the position and the company. The answers to these questions will be beneficial to understand if the position is the right fit for you.

You should take your phone interview just as seriously as any other kind of interview. In this competitive job market, there isn’t room for any mistakes during the hiring process.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made during a phone interview?

Afifa Siddiqui is the COO and Co-founder of Careerleaf, an all-in-one job search platform that cuts the time to apply in half. Connect with Afifa and Careerleaf on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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