Many job recruitments start with a phone interview, so mastering the art of the phone interview makes it easier to find a job. While phone interviews may seem simple on the surface, setting the right tone with your voice and managing the way you speak during a phone interview can help you come across as a more desirable candidate. And don’t make the mistake of thinking a phone interview is just like a video call – there are some differences you need to make sure you prepare for.
Get the Right Tone
Tone is everything during a phone interview because your interviewer can’t see your face. By conveying the right tone, you can convey the expressions that your interviewers can’t see. Want to know how your tone sounds to others? Try answering a few basic interview questions while speaking into a recording device, then play your answers back an hour or two later. Listening to a recording of yourself allows you to hear things in your voice that you wouldn’t have otherwise heard. Make adjustments as you see fit, and record your voice again to see how you sound now.
Minimize Background Noise
Background noise can be very distracting during a phone interview. Find an appropriate place to make a phone call. If you’re conducting your phone interview at home, turn off the television, radio and other noises. Put the dog in the backyard or ask a friend to walk your dog.
If your children are around, find someone to watch your kids while you’re in the interview, or go to a separate part of the house for the event. If there seems to be no quiet room or private space in your home, consider sitting in your car for the interview.
Speak Slowly and Enunciate
It’s very important to speak clearly during a phone interview because your interviewers can’t see your face. Practice speaking slowly and clearly. Ask a partner to give a mock interview, then ask your partner to provide you with feedback about the pace and clarity with which you speak.
Have Notes… But Don’t Read From a Script
Just because your interviewer can’t see your face doesn’t mean you should be reading from a script. Have notes in front of you during your interview, but be prepared to speak off the cuff and answer questions in a way that is genuine and spontaneous.
About the Author: Kathryn Elwell grew up in the Midwest. She has experience in management and human resources, and has been writing on these topics and more for 12 years.