Three Tips For Better Phone Interviews

It seems kind of archaic to mention it, but when was the last time you talked on the phone with your boss? Had a phone screen by a recruiter? In case you have a phone interview scheduled on the calendar, it may be time to brush up on formal phone etiquette skills.

According to a post on WetFeet, it may seem like a minor detail but how you speak on the phone and articulate yourself are critical for your job hunt success.

1. How and when you answer the phone. This sounds simple enough, right? Maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of saying your name really quickly but be sure to articulate your name. Also, are you in the appropriate location for a confidential conversation? Is there background noise? Are you on your cell phone with bad reception? Do you feel calm and confident or does your environment beckon a state of frazzle? When in doubt, let it go to voicemail and call back when you’re calm, cool and collected. At that point, speak clearly and slowly and ensure your tone of voice is upbeat and optimistic.

2. Your voicemail message. As pointed in the piece, how you record your voicemail message can also be an indicator to potential hiring managers about your professionalism. Is there any background noise? Is your message personalized? Does it clearly reflect your first and last name or is it too casual?

3. How you leave messages. Considering your voicemail message is important, so is leaving a message for someone.  When you call back a recruiter or hiring manager, ensure you speak slowly and imagine they have hundreds of candidates they’re speaking with — will they easily know it’s you calling back? Be sure to also leave your full phone number, area code included.

Remember to go back to basics when it comes to phone etiquette; the ultimate goal of course is to leave a positive impression and that you’re focused.