Interview Skills Are Vital
Here are 11 things not to do during phone interviews. Are you honing your interview skills now?
- Take a job interview phone call at work or at a cafe. Make sure you are someplace quiet to take the call.
- Interrupt your interviewer. Make sure he or she has finished asking the question before you answer. Wait a second or two before answering.
- Never put your interviewer on hold to answer another call. Ignore call waiting (if you have it) — or disable it, if possible.
- Be too “casual” or “informal” in your conversation. This is still a job interview!
- Never chew gum or eat anything during a phone interview.
- Eliminate “uptalk.” This is a nervous habit where you end a declarative statement with an intonation that makes it sound like a question. (Tape recording your interview can be a good way to identify if this is something you do.)
- Avoid using your phone’s speakerphone feature on a phone interview. Not only can a speakerphone create an echo, but it also picks up more background noise (such as shuffling papers).
- If you take notes, do not take them on your computer. The sound of typing is distracting. Have a pen and paper to take notes.
- Restrain yourself. If you are an animated speaker in person — for example, you use your hands while speaking —it is fine to use your hands. The interviewer cannot see them anyway. Using your hands will help make the interview feel more like a natural conversation.
- Use the “mute” button on your phone for the first time on a job interview call. The mute button can eliminate distracting noise (for example, if you must take a drink of water). You will want to have practiced using it before the call so you do not accidentally mute yourself while you want to be talking.
- Avoid bringing up salary, benefits, or reporting structure (who you would report to) on a phone interview. Save that for an in-person interview. But do be prepared to answer the salary question if you are asked.