While it’s usually better to meet with a hiring manager face-to-face, that’s not always a viable option. While it might seem less awkward to talk over the phone than in person, this actually can be a bit trickier to handle. Before you pick up the phone, be sure to peruse this list of at-home interview tips we’ve compiled from top resume writers.
1. Dress Up
You might be tempted to simply handle the interview in a comfy pair of sweats and an old t-shirt, but this doesn’t really put you into professional mode. Wear business attire, just as you would for a regular job interview. At the very least, get completely dressed, down to the shoes, even if you are just wearing jeans and a top. Dressing professionally, however, can make you feel more professional and help you make a better impression.
2. Hide Away
If you have roommates or family members living with you, make sure these individuals are not in the same room as you during the interview. You want to be completely focused on the task at hand, and you’ll want to avoid distractions. Our top resume writers also recommend that if you have kids, have your spouse or a sitter take them to the park, so that you won’t have to worry about any noise.
3. Avoid Distractions
Aside from the distractions created by other people, you also might be distracted by other issues. Keep the TV off, obviously, but sometimes it’s wise to clean up your space before a phone interview. You don’t want to be distracted by a pile of dirty dishes in the sink or a mound of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor or piles of bills on your home office desk. Find a clean, clear space and sit there for the interview.
4. Charge Your Phone
Whether you are using a landline with a portable phone or a mobile phone for the interview, you need to make sure these devices are fully charged. If you are using a landline, turn your mobile phone off completely and put it in another room before the interview. If you will be using a cell phone, not only should you ensure it is fully charged, make sure there is a charging cord nearby and ready to go just in case.
5. Practice Your Interview Skills
Whether you are interviewing in person or via the phone, this advice applies to everyone. You need to practice your answers to typical interview questions, as well as preparing a list of thoughtful questions to ask the hiring manager. It also is wise to research the company, as well, so that you have a thorough knowledge of the company goals and mission as well as some information about key players in the firm.
The more you prepare, the better you will perform during the interview process. Our choice for top resume writers can help you with a great resume as well as with some career coaching. So if you are feeling uncertain about your interview skills, consider asking these professionals for help.
6. Take Notes & Prepare Notes
One of the great things about a phone interview is that you can prepare notes and look at them as much as you want during the interview. In a face-to-face interview, it can be awkward if you are flipping through your notes the entire time and avoiding eye contact, but with a phone interview this is less of an issue. Be sure you don’t spend so much time sifting through your notes that you don’t listen properly to the hiring manager or end up with long, awkward silences.
Don’t forget to thank the hiring manager at the end of the phone interview, and our top resume writers also suggest sending a handwritten thank-you note after the interview or, at the very least, email a thank-you note. Many people bypass this step, but it can make you a more memorable job candidate.
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