The Scoop on Acing a Phone Interview

October 18, 2013

Phone interviews are hard for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they are usually shorter than an in-person interview, so you have to make a lasting impression in a quick amount of time. Secondly, they require you to make a first impression without ever seeing the employer face-to-face. Thirdly, having a physical barrier makes it harder to read the person on the other side. Because of these obstacles, preparing for a phone interview can present some new challenges.

          On the plus side, you are in the privacy of your own space during a phone interview, so feel free to have your resume and any personal notes on the company you have prepared in front of you. Just remember: hiring managers are pretty good at telling the difference between someone who’s reading off of a sheet of paper, versus someone who is being genuine with their answers; so, although you can have notes in front of you, try to memorize as much as possible to sound natural, honest, and comfortable.

          Phone interviews also require you to maintain more energy, both vocally and through the content of your answers. Since a recruiter or hiring manager can’t physically see you, you need to make sure the quality of your speech represents you well. Speaking clearly and giving concise answers that directly address the question are very important. You should also reflect some excitement in your tone; don’t overdo it, but make sure the interviewer knows you are glad to speak with them and interested in the role. Building rapport also gives you a great chance to laugh and add some light moments to the conversation, which will give dynamic aspects to your interview and show you have an affable and personable demeanor.

          Acknowledging the speaker is also important to show you are engaged and interested in the conversation. Offering statements like, “I see,” or, “that sounds great,” to follow up on a comment made by the employer are great ways to acknowledge the employer’s statements, since you can’t use body language responses like nodding or smiling. Make sure not to overdo it, however; you want to show them you are listening, but you don’t want to interrupt or become distracting. Try and use your intuition—when they might be done with a long phrase or long explanation, follow up with a statement. Asking follow up questions is also a great way to show you’re engaged in the conversation.

          Make sure the setting you are in for your interview is quiet, so you aren’t picking up background noise, which can reflect unprofessionalism. Also, try and keep a water bottle with you; if you feel your throat getting dry, take a quick sip while the other person is talking, so your vocal quality remains clean and consistent. Make sure you are in an area with cell phone service; have someone call you before your interview to make sure your phone works!

          Remember: phone interviews are usually the first impression you leave the employer, and they glean an image of you based on your phone interview. Leave them with a great first impression!

Have questions or concerns regarding our blog posts? Contact Rachel Cerrone, Recruiting Coordinator, at rcerrone@watsondwyer.com, or comment on our social media pages!


 

How to Make Your Workday More Productive, Efficient, and Interesting

October 10, 2013
Consistently producing high-quality, error-free work is important, but sometimes the tedious nature of routines can take its toll on employees. Making your work day interesting and stimulating is a key factor in being able to produce quality work daily. Need new ways to stay motivated and focused? Maybe the tips below can help!

Pack a snack.

If you’re tired and need an energy boost, always pack a snack to give you more energy. Try to pack something different every day or week, so you have ...


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What is Working with an Agency All About?

October 4, 2013

As a permanent and temporary external placement agency, Watson Dwyer works with new candidates daily who have various types of professional experience and backgrounds. One thing that most candidates have in common, however, is that if a candidate has not worked with an agency before, they usually have some questions regarding the process. For this week’s blog article, we decided to break down the process to help potential candidates gain a better understanding of what to expect when worki...


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What Not To Wear: Interview Edition

September 20, 2013

Let’s start with stating the obvious: dressing for an interview is an integral part of the first impression you make. That statement seems straightforward, but in reality, making a good first impression and dressing for your interview in an appropriate way will always depend on the company, so research the employee etiquette at that company before you interview. For a general idea on what or what not to do, check out these guidelines:


Ask Around
To ensure that you dress the right way for yo...

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Creating a Team-Oriented Office

September 13, 2013

Whether you work in a large, corporate office or a small, family-owned business, it’s always important to encourage team collaboration and delegation. Working well with your team will help you learn a ton about your company, industry, and coworkers, which will make you a stronger employee. But just how can you encourage team collaboration without sacrificing your ability to work independently? Here are a few ways to do so:

Weekly Brainstorming Meetings

If your department has new project...


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Don’t Be These 4 Types of Employees

September 6, 2013

The workplace setting is a dynamic, ever-changing environment that brings a variety of personalities together. It’s important to remember how your attitude in the workplace affects your view as a reliable and affable coworker. Check out the short list below on some character tendencies to avoid that will make your day more productive, enjoyable, and efficient.

The Know-It-All, Do-It-All Type
No one can possibly know everything there is to know about a job or industry. The fascinating part a...


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How to Make the Perfect Resume

August 30, 2013
The title of this article is deceiving. If you’re looking to create the perfect resume that sums up everything you’ve ever done throughout your career, then you’re in for a brutal truth: there is no such thing as a perfect resume. In fact, resumes that contain too much information may be too dense for the hiring process, which often involves a hiring manager giving an initial brief overview of a resume to see if the candidate is a good fit for the job. If your resume is too long or to...
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Are You a Good Coworker?

August 23, 2013
Becoming an integral part of the workplace as a contract or direct hire employee isn’t always easy, and sometimes people find that they may not be getting as comfortable with their job as they thought they would. Outside factors can sometimes be the cause of this problem. Other times, however, it may be that you are indirectly making it harder on yourself by being closed-off or short with your coworkers. To avoid these mistakes, we’ve created a short list of ways to make your work relatio...
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How to Really Research a Company for Your Interview

August 16, 2013

How to Really Research a Company for Your Interview

Part of thoroughly preparing for a job interview means collecting a good amount of research on the company you’re interviewing with. But let’s face it: sometimes you just don’t know where to start. Researching a company involves more than briefly skimming a website, and we’ve created a helpful list of tips to use to kick-start your research process.

Find specific aspects of the website to use when answering questions in your intervie...


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The Art of the First Impression

August 9, 2013
People tend to know the basics of what makes a good first impression on a job interview. You are told time and time again to dress professionally, show up early, and offer a firm handshake. While all of that is very important, it’s also equally important to realize the small habits we do out of comfort and familiarity that may not make the best professional impression.

For starters, it’s extremely important to be aware of your body language when arriving and settling into your first i...


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