Ten Questions to Ask Yourself about Phone Interviews

Credit: Rife magazine

Credit: Rife magazine

Phone interviews needn’t be scary, says Beth Highgate-Betts, so let’s ask ourselves… what’s the worst that’ll happen? Here are some handy tips for getting that job.

Let’s face it: getting a job today is tough whoever you are. But it’s got to be most difficult for young people. Without experience or references getting your first break can often seem like an impossible task. That’s why when you get through to the interview stage it’s SO important that you go in knowing your stuff.

Here’s ten questions answered on phone interviews to give you a head start:

  1. 1. Can you be naked for a phone interview?

Yes, yes you can. But you probably shouldn’t…

How we dress and where we are can have an effect on the way we speak. It’s like how we speak differently to our parents, than how we speak to our friends. So if you’re naked during a phone interview you run the risk of slipping into how you’d usually speak when you’re naked, and unless you’re a nudist, that’s probably not what you want.

*Also, always good to be fully clothed for Skype interviews too.

  1. 2. Should I tell jokes? They can be great ice breakers.

Unless you’re applying to be a stand-up comedian, jokes aren’t really the best idea. Yes, they might be a great ice breaker and yes maybe you are the next Russell Howard, but no matter how funny you are it just might not be what your possible employer wants to hear. Plus you’ll have plenty of time to wow your co-workers with your hilarious one liners once you actually get the job.

  1. 3. Should I have stuff written down?

The beauty of phone interviews is the person on the other end can’t see what you’re doing (this is NOT an excuse to take all your clothes off *see question 1), so you can surround yourself with all the information you could possibly need. Why not write down some bullet points about the job and the company, or things about yourself you feel are important to say? It’s one of the best elements of a phone interview; just make sure you’re not reading it like a script, the last thing you need is to be thrown off by a question you weren’t expecting and get flustered.

  1. 4. Are questions a good idea?

Yes. In fact a lot of phone interviews will leave time at the end for you to ask all the questions you wish. It’s always good to think of a few and maybe write them down beforehand so there isn’t a lot of ‘umming’ and ‘errrring’ when the time comes.  If you can’t think of anything, why not ask about training opportunities and the possibilities of future promotion?

  1. 5. Do I need to do anything before the interview?

You should know as much as possible about the job and the company before going into any interview, phone interviews are no different. Why not try searching the company’s name online to see what they’re about? You could even have their website open in front of you, just in case.

  1. 6. What about the job description, I already applied, they won’t ask me about that right?

Wrong. It’s always important to go over what you already know. The job description is perfect for this, read through the main objectives and the day-to-day tasks you’d have to do if you got the job. This way your can tailor the conversation to the jobs specifics and really impress your future employer.

  1. 7. I applied so long ago I can’t actually remember what I wrote, is that bad?

Like the job description, it’s always a good idea to read through what you wrote on your application before a phone interview. Remember that your application (and possibly your CV) are the only things your future employer will know about you, so it’s important to refresh your memory, especially as sometimes interviews can be months after first applying.

  1. 8. Where should I be for my phone interview?

The temptation of phone interviews is that you can be anywhere you like. Where you are can have a big effect on your interview, much like what you wear affects the way you speak. So as much as we’d all like to conduct our phone interviews from the comfort of our beds, it probably won’t put us in the right frame of mind.

You also need to think about noise, you want somewhere as quiet as possible, there’s nothing worse than not being able to hear the questions you’re being asked.

Most important thing for choosing your location? Signal. If you’re on your mobile, you don’t want to lose bars halfway through your interview.

  1. 9. Can I stretch the truth about my experience?

Remember that the aim of the phone interview is to get a job. So think about what will happen if you get the job and on your first day you turn up and you can’t speak German or juggle like you said you could during your phone interview.  You’re going to look pretty silly. You want to offer best version of yourself during any interview, but make sure it is actually you.

  1. 10. Can I be with my friends for moral support?

You need to think about distraction. Sure you might feel like you need your friends around for support, but can you really promise yourself that they’ll behave and you won’t laugh when they pull a silly face? Also if you’re paying attention to what they’re doing then you’re paying less attention to what the person on the other end of the phone is saying, and that never ends well.

There you have it, 10 questions answers.

Now go out and impress the world with your dazzling selves! Good luck!

Any other tips to have? Any funny stories of your own phone interviews? Tweet us: @rifemag