Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger and Phone interviews are increasingly common in the tech and IT industries. More IT professionals are working from home and more companies are perfectly OK with remote talent. It means that more and more IT people are being interviewed over the phone or other VoIP services. When you are not sitting with your interviewer or employer in person, and you don’t have control over the conversation beginning or ending (because the phone reception or internet connection may betray you at any time), you need to make sure your answers are precise and to the point. Here are 6 great tips on how to give a great phone interview. Following these phone interview tips will increase you chances of landing that next IT job.
Plan your Location
The point about cell phone reception and Internet service comes up here. You need to be in a place that gets great reception, so if the internet connection at your home isn’t speedy enough, try going to your local café or restaurant and asking if you can use their Wifi. If you plan to conduct the interview on phone, go where you normally get all the bars of your phone reception. This could be great for both internet conversations and phone conversations, since using 3G/4G connections on your phone will be easier than lugging around a laptop.
You should also make sure that the place you’re in will be free of interruptions and noise during the interview. You don’t want anything disrupting the flow of your interview, much less someone you know barging in to your room unannounced. Either lock the door to your room or go to a quiet café.
Also, this doesn’t need mentioning in today’s world, but headphones are necessary for the conversation. Get some quality noise isolating headphones if you can; or some over ear headphones that can block out any excess noises.
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Let the Interviewer ask the full Question
This is a big issue in phone interviews. People start answering the question before it ends. This leaves a very bad impression. The interviewer becomes frustrated and angry at your impatience and makes a judgment call on your overall character.
Use common sense and account for interruptions and bad cell phone service and internet connection hiccups during the interview. If you’re not sure you understood the question correctly, ask the interviewer to repeat it. There’s no shame in asking to understand something.
Also, phrase your answers in complete, non broken sentences. The cell phone reception and internet service is bad as it is, you don’t need to make it worse by talking in broken sentences.
You’d be surprised how many people do this in interviews that take place face to face. It is second nature to jump in with an answer before the question is completely finished. It’s a tense situation. However, you only end up making a case against yourself when you do that.
Don’t Pause Too Long After Every Tech Question
This is your field; you don’t need to over think your answer here. You can answer as soon as they finish the question. If you take too long to answer, they may think you’re Googling the answer and trying to pull a fast one.
Computers and smartphones are a common occurrence amongst all the world’s citizens now so it’s not farfetched to think that you’re cheating when no one’s looking. Just don’t give them a reason to think that you are.
Keep your Resume in front of you
Your interviewer is talking to you with a copy of your Resume in front of them. Make no mistake. This is what they do with face to face interviews. It’s standard procedure since they don’t know who you are, and have a lot of interviews lined up for the day. They don’t have a moral obligation to learn about you beforehand. They simply glance at your resume before making the call and keep asking you questions they deem necessary.
If they ask you something about your resume specifically, you should have it in front of you so that you can readily answer. It’s possible that they may quote something from your resume and you may not remember exactly what it is. It’s common to forget small things while you’re nervous. So always keep a back up just in case.
Don’t Ramble, Speak Clearly, Have Good Phone Etiquette
As mentioned above, you need to speak in full, unbroken sentences. An addition to this is, don’t go on rambling. The interviewer wants to know about your professional skills and a little about your personality, but they don’t want to study you. They don’t want your personal history.
You could practice in front of the mirror to keep your replies and answers short. You could also take a moment to collect yourself before a particularly difficult answer, and if you want, you can even speak slowly so that you can think while you speak. Just make sure you remain professional and retain a sense of decorum while the interview progresses.
Also focus on phone etiquette. Make sure you begin the conversation with a pleasant hello and end it with an equally pleasant goodbye. You should also say thank you if the interviewer compliments you and say “I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?”, if you didn’t understand a certain question. While this is not something which will guarantee you a place in the company, it will certain work to your advantage because politeness and etiquette go a long way to making your case as a gentleman or lady.
Remember to prepare and rehearse your answers in front of a mirror. Don’t think that you’ll have it all figured out when the time comes, especially if you haven’t given a phone interview before. Study up on the person interviewing you if you are aware of them, and also make sure you have the latest updates on your phone or for your VoIP program in case there is a chance for better reception or internet service in those updates.
Are you finding it harder to locate the good technical and IT talent? Many companies find them selves in the same situation. There are some better ways to locate and attract the right it and technical people to your company. Contact us to learn more.