Bag a job over the phone
Employers used to want to get up close and personal with potential recruits. Not so in the age of instant communication; they’re broadening their horizons, and candidates need to be ready.
October 28, 2010 11:02 by Katherine Azmeh
There is a new trend afoot, buoyed by technologies like Skype, SMS, VoIP, and screaming fast internet connectivity. An array of more sophisticated communications options is shrinking the physical distances between employees and their workplaces. Its evolution has long been in the making. High speed internet and conference calling revolutionized the possibilities for professionals working from home. While revamping work styles, it has also wrought big changes in long-held presumptions. One of which is reflected in the rising significance of the phone interview.
“It is definitely a marked change in the way hiring is approached,” says Joseph George, director of an international private school outside of Beijing. “And ultimately, the way business gets done,” he added.
Distance working and its dependence on communications technology has increased the comfort level for many employers who now consider the phone interview a more viable option than in the past. And the financial and time savings can be significant for both parties. Employers are more apt to widen their search to include candidates from far-flung locales, without incurring the travel and lodging expense of the personal interview.
“I received four job interviews based solely on phone interviews this year,” a young college graduate in a health professions field told Kipp. “I know my degree is in demand, but I think employers across the board are just more comfortable with the phone interview than ever before,” she adds.
Before you’re asked to get on the horn and present your credentials, digest these five tips from Investopedia. They’ll ensure you ace that phone interview (or at the very least, that you don’t mess it up):
1. Your voice has to convey your professionalism and the best aspects of your personality. Be sure to choose a quiet environment for your talk, one in which the employer can concentrate on the professionalism in your speech and vocabulary, without the distraction of background noise.
2. Do your research, just as you would in a conventional interview. Take notes and be ready with informed questions about the company, the job description, and other matters that will demonstrate your preparedness. Be ready to market yourself.
3. Have an up to date resume on hand for the phone interview. It will be an easy reference for names and dates, and prevent any nervousness when having to supply details of your work history.
4. Be ready for the unexpected, by taking time to consider your greatest strengths, weaknesses, and some specific examples from professional life that best illustrate your competency and problem solving skills. Prepare your answers ahead of time to ensure a confident delivery.
5. Finally, just breathe. It will help slow your speech, and contribute to a confident tone. “Don’t feel like you have to fill every silence – take a moment to gather your thoughts after you are asked a question to make sure your answer is the best one you can possibly give,” Investopedia suggests.
So, find a secluded, quiet spot, and take a few deep breaths. Who knew an interview could be this easy? And the best part, of course, is that dress is casual.