Like face-to-face, phone interviews require research
MICHELLE NOVIELLI FOR METRO TORONTO
In a job interview, first impressions are everything. But what happens when you have to make that impression over the phone?
Just like a face-to-face interview, the best thing is to research the employer beforehand, said Laura Pasquini, Academic Advisor at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus Academic Advising and Career Centre.
“You should always have some idea on the company’s background and the basics of the position,” she said. You may also want to keep these notes at hand during the interview for quick reference.
But this isn’t an excuse to be reading from materials over the phone. Instead of having pre-scripted answers in front of you, Pasquini advises having a friend or family member conduct a mock interview prior to the real thing.
When it comes to location, your best bet is somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. A landline is preferable, Pasquini said, but for those who absolutely must use a cellphone for the interview, you should be aware of your location and signal strength.
“It’s important to have a good connection,” she said. But if your signal starts to fade, Pasquini adds it’s OK to ask a question be repeated.
When dealing with cellphones, you must also consider having a professional voicemail message. Pasquini suggests “something simple, but sophisticated.”
During the interview, it’s important to keep good posture. “You don’t want to be lying down,” she said. “You need to feel well and be able to speak clearly.”
Pretending it’s actually a face-to-face interview might work for some people. To project expressions and be yourself, Pasquini said you may even want to dress professionally.
“This might help people mentally,” she said. Though an employer won’t be able to see your body language and expressions, there are some advantages to a phone interview. Time and travel are definite benefits, Pasquini said, as you don’t have to leave where you are and what you’re doing to get to the interview.