EP 732 I speak about how to ace a mobile phone interview.
Today, I want to talk with you about phone interviews and how to do well on them. Today's emphasis is going to really be on mobile phone interviewing because the rules to a mobile phone interview are little bit different than a landline interview.
Some years ago I remember writing an article that is all over the web called, "Phone Interviews: Prepare to Ace Them." You can do a Google search for it and find it by putting it in quotes; you'll find the article. That was written at a time when phone interviewing was relatively new, companies were still experimenting with the idea phone interviewing as opposed to bring people in for a face-to-face every step along the way.
What encouraged people to do them was avoid mobile devices and do some pretty predictable things that are now all part of the mobile phone interviewing experience. For example, rehearsing. Practicing. Taking some notes to remind you of talking points that you want to cover in the interview. Keeping your resume out in front of you so that you have as a reference point and circling things or taking notes on it in order to ensure that you cover the basic issues that need to be covered in the phone interview. Remembering that your voice is your only sales tool. Log off your computer, minimally turn off IM to ensure that the no sounds or beeps that will interrupt you. Again, take a look at the article and make sure that you cover the basic points of it.
I also want to say that mobile phone interviewing is a lot more realistic these days because, the fact of the matter is, most of you are out and about, you're being contacted while you are on the go, even if you're in your office, you don't want to be transferring calls to the conference room. You want to be a place we can easily and quickly walk out to have a conversation. That's why decide to update that article and states the mobile experience and add on a few points to the the original article.
Again, the notion of researching the employer to ensure that you cover everything that is required by keeping your resume out, taking some notes and hitting those points. Because, remember, they can't see what you're doing. They can just hear your answers. Here are a few things I want to remind you off when you are doing a mobile phone interview:
Make sure you have a great cell service. I'm not gonna sit here and endorse any one product or service because it always depends on what part of the world you're in as to whether or not the connection is going to be decent. Even if you've a great carrier, sometimes the wind that you can have the conversation in can make all the difference in the world. I have people I have represented who I'm trying to speak with and the phone slips under the jaw and you just can't hear them. Or they have a good service (almost everyone in the world has good service these days), but they are in a specific place where the signal is in great. As a result, you always have to test the place for you most likely to receive a call as well is the place you're going to have to walk to in order to have the conversation to ensure that you have great signal. Find a conference room in advance. Make sure you call someone that you know who will give you straightforward advice about how well the signal is received in that room and thus how will your voices heard and understood.
Remember, your voice is your only sales tool when you're doing an interview by phone, whether that is mobile or landline. You have to be heard and understood. The nuances and subtleties of your voice have to come through clearly. I was speaking with someone lasting. It was referred to me for coaching and he was driving along in his car in Tennessee. Frankly, it was so hard to hear and understand them because he had me on speaker while he was driving. Never do a phone interview on your phone on speaker. You may think you sound great; you don't. You are also preoccupied; I don't want you getting hurt or killed in the car while you are driving somewhere because you distracted talking to me or someone who is calling you. Be smart about these things.
The likelihood is you are not going to be in the car. You're going to be in your office when you get the phone call. As such, always make sure that you speak up and speak clearly. You can simply ask at the beginning of the conversation as you start it, "I just want to make sure that you can hear me clearly. I'm on my mobile right now. It is my voice coming through well?" This way, if it isn't, 9 times out of 10 they will tell you. If they don't, it is their mistake because your offering yourself up to get that advice.
Very simply, always check out the place where you're going to do the conversation to ensure that you have clear signal.
Speak clearly. Enunciate. You never want your answers to come through muddy.
Your voice is your only sales tool. Make sure that you use it with passion and enthusiasm. Sound excited because, remember, they are not going to be influenced by what a great wardrobe you have. They're not to be influenced by anything other than the quality of your answers and the tone of your voice. So, be smart and test out that area where you're going to be having the conversation.
Do your homework in advance of the interview so that you know something about the firm, use LinkedIn and Google to find out about the person who will be calling you, take time to do your homework.
Practice. I don't know about you but when I watch great athletes perform, it's not like they just walked out on the court, walked out on the field, just get out on the tennis court and just start to hit a ball or shoot a basket or throw one. These are people who been practicing their entire lives. You can't just simply walk into an interview and a set without rehearsing. Spend the time to work with someone spend the time practicing. Ideally,, you should have someone who knows your field, and knows your industry to practice with, so that in this way, they can pick up on the nuances of your answers in order to ensure that you are answering the question well.
I also want to encourage you that if you are not used to phone interviews (or even in person interviews) go to a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters is an organization that allows you to practice public speaking. The rules of public speaking are pretty much the same as interviewing. You want to engage your audience, you want to captivate them, you want to get them interested AND you want to practice spontaneous speaking.
They have a function in a Toastmasters meeting called Table Topics where you are asked the question off-the-cuff. You will have no idea that you are going to be selected to speak and then stand up and answer in 2 minutes or less. So, there will be a moderator who will start by saying something along the lines of, "You know, it is spring. Spring is a time, or get rid of the doldrums of the cold weather and we start to get into nice weather. When I think of spring I think of planting in my garden. Jeff, what do you think of when you think of spring?" Then, I would have to stand up and answer that question.
Practicing speaking extemporaneously is a great way to practice for phone interviewing because the only time you know it is an interview is when the phone rings and it is them on the line saying, "Hi, Jeff? My name is so-and-so. I'm a recruiter with such and such firm (or I am a manager with someone so). We received your resume and wanted to speak with you. Is this a good time?" You have to be ready for that.
Practice by going to Toastmasters. Practice with friends. Make sure you were in the right place for your interview so that is the location where you get great cell signal. Rehearse. Speak clearly. Take notes, specifically when they ask you a question, jot it down so that you stay on point with your answer.
I'm sure you will is your next phone interview under mobile.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching.
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