How do you get someone to give you a job using only your voice? Here’s our guide to nailing a job interview over the phone plus some great tips from you guys via twitter.
Oh, and we’ve livened things up with some really weird old album covers because it’s a Wednesday and what the goddamn else are we supposed to do?
If you can’t use a landline, be in a place where there’s signal
I mean, obviously. If your flat is anything like mine, and you can only receive phone calls when standing inside the fridge, go somewhere else. Don’t walk around while being interviewed either because, while pacing can relax some people, your voice will go all walk-y (no, this isn’t a classic bit of description, but you know the voice I’m talking about right? Sort of out of breath and quivery) and you might wander out of signal and get cut off mid sentence.
Find a quiet, calm place
Whether that’s away from your mum hoovering or the child screaming in the cafe, choose a spot with minimum background noise so you’re less likely to be distracted and more likely to kick, y’know, ass. And stuff.
Record yourself answering the classic questions like “why do you think your right for this job” and “what experience do you have” then listen back. Yes, it’s painful but if you talk mega-fast or stutter or, I don’t know, beep when nervous then you can tackle it before the Big Phonecall.
Don’t be scared of silence
In an actual room, you’d be allowed time to consider your answer to a question. On the phone, and with no visual cues, you might be worried that some thinking time sounds like you’ve been cut off or suddenly fallen down a manhole but it’s just the same. The interviewer knows you’re having a think, and if they go “hello, you still there?” then just say “yes I’m having a bit of a think” and continue your think; it’s better to have a brief contemplative silence than gabbling loads of crap.
Whether that’s standing up, lying down or hopping – you’ll do a lot better if you’re at ease. Although, maybe go for the professional “sitting down at a table” pose; if you feel profesh, you’ll sound profesh. And if you’re lying down, you run the risk of falling asleep. But hey, whatever makes you happy..
Close your eyes, if it helps
Focussing and concentration are key, and it’s often difficult when you have to worry about body language as well as not spilling your glass of water on yourself. Thankfully, when it’s just your voice, you can close your eyes and take your time. Again, if closing your eyes makes you sleepy then probably avoid doing this.
Noting down key words and phrases is essential – not only will it stop mindblank, it’ll also stop you worrying about getting mindblank which frees you up to focus on being brilliant instead. Always have a pen and space to jot down prompts for yourself as you go along, so you don’t end up rambling on and forgetting the question. It’s also useful for when they ask you to, for example, provide three instances you helped a child (or whatever) as you can tick each one off as you go instead of permeating it with an on-the-ball “er, how many have I said? 90? Oh haha sorry”.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer
It’s OK to do this when they can see you, but over the phone it can come across a bit rude as opposed to a symptom of your boundless youthful exuberance etc. Plus, you might not catch important parts of what they’re saying. But mainly it’s a bit rude.
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