How Can I Improve How I Interview Over the Phone?

Q. I interview better in person than on a phone interview. What are some tips to improving how I phone interview?

Most candidates conduct a phone interview the same way they conduct an in person interview. When in fact they are completely different and require a different approach. There is no eye contact, body language or a warm friendly introduction and handshake on a phone interview. Usually there is just a cold hello. You only have your voice.

There are basically three things that can be evaluated during a phone interview, energy/enthusiasm, communications ability and a basic understanding of your skills. So you have to adjust to these conditions. Here are some tips: 1) always stand up and walk around during a phone interview. This helps create energy and enthusiasm. 2) You must learn how to use your voice.  Things such as using voice inflection, timely pauses, tone changes to stress points, lowering your voice, speaking slower and enunciating clearly and pacing the speed of the interviewer’s voice are all very important. Not to mention using proper sentence structure and avoiding the word “like.” 3) Since most phone interviews are shorter than in person interviews you must be succinct. You don’t have time to ramble on and on as the interviewer will begin to wander. You should practice keeping your answers to about one minute in length. While you are talking they are sitting there listening. Sitting and listening for one minute seems like five. Since you can’t see them you can’t tell from their expressions if they are bored, losing interest in what you are saying or if they put the phone down and are now checking their email. So you must get right to the point in your answer in order to keep the interviewer’s interest.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

How effective is your job search?  If you are not sure, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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