Smile Your Way to Phone Interview Success
By Wim Dodson
Diverse professionals have significant challenges while interviewing that mainstream candidates may never have to consider. A surprising tip that could help you ace your next phone interview is to smile. That’s right,for just a few minutes drop the attitude that’s developed after all the rejections and slights you may have suffered in the job market and drop your defenses.
Even though you’re not sitting across from your interviewer, a confident smile and strong body language will project through the phone. You should treat your phone interview like you would an in-person meeting and your smile will project friendliness and build trust.
Another great way to make sure that your confidence comes across in your phone interview is to dress for success. Even if the other person can’t see you, wearing business attire can make you feel more prepared and confident. Looking nice puts you in a polished and professional mindset and that will help you impress your interviewer.
Before your interview you should have a plan for what phone you’re using and where you are going to take the call. Don’t risk a dropped signal or a poor connection that could disrupt your interview or distract you in the middle of an important question. You want to choose a location where you are free from distractions and away from things that could interfere with your call, like traffic noises or other people. If you can take the call from your home and you have a landline, that’s even better because there’s no risk of a dropped call or a bad connection.
Make sure that you do your homework on the company prior to your phone interview so that you can impress your interviewer with your knowledge. Do a search on the Internet and check out the company’s website, recent news articles, and other webpages they may be mentioned on. If you know who you’ll be interviewing with, you should look them up on LinkedIn before the interview. Putting a face to the name before your call can help you visualize the person on the other end of the phone.
Whether your interview is in-person or over the phone, you always want to practice in advance. Asking a friend to participate in a mock phone interview will give you the chance to practice answering typical interview questions. If your friend is an experienced interviewer or interviewee, they can also provide you with some valuable feedback that you can use to improve your interview skills. This is also a great opportunity to assess your interview space and phone connection to make sure the space is quiet and the line is clear.
On the day of your phone interview get prepared by reviewing the job description, your cover letter, and your resume. Have your resume handy during the phone interview in case you need to reference specific facts or dates. You also should have a pen and paper ready if you want to take notes and a glass of water in case you need it.
When doing a phone interview, don’t believe that your interviewer cannot sense your smile and other body language. Smiling during your interview will project the friendliness, enthusiasm, and confidence you need to impress your interviewer and win the job.