A phone interview for a job can feel casual. You’ll be making a mistake if you treat it that way.
Don’t underestimate a phone interview or cast it aside as a rehearsal. Treat it with the same vigor as you would an in-person interview.
You’ll need to research whoever is interviewing you, of course. You should have prepared questions about the company ready. Your practiced answers should be short yet fortified.
Nail Your Greeting
Answering the phone in a formal way kicks things off positively. Julie Polkes, a Hollywood public relations executive, advises steering clear of a casual, “Hey, what’s up?”
Some decorum may start to evolve, she says, as a new generation starts to occupy the chairs in Human Resources. “As the millennials get the jobs and become the HR reps, the level of formality could change,” Polkes said. But until then, don’t depart from the more elegant and traditional tenets.
“Better to be more formal,” she said. “If someone walked down the hallway towards me I would say formally, ‘How are you?’ It’s no different on the phone.”
Let Them Hear Your Smile
Polkes advises applicants to suit up and be prepared before the phone rings. That means no lounging in a hammock. In fact, it’s best to avoid being horizontal while talking.
“Get up and smile,” Polkes said. “If you just smile the confidence follows. Treat it like you’re interviewing in-person.”
Emily Martin, Head of Growth and People at Triplemint Real Estate, seconds the smile. For her, a smile transmits over the phone line.
“It may seem awkward,” she said, “but you can truly hear a smile.”