This week I had three phone interviews, and since I’ve realized that there are some definite pros to being interviewed over the phone, as well as some definite cons. Let me make a list for you.
You can interview in your pajamas. The pressure of having the right outfit, or making sure your gray hairs are concealed, is automatically lifted. Ultimately, you can concentrate on knocking the interviewer’s socks off with your clever answers rather than whether or not your shirt is freshly ironed.
You are able to have all your resources right in front of you. I often sit at my desk and make sure that my portfolio, my resume and the job posting are all open and ready for me to reference as I’m talking.
A phone interview gives you the opportunity to scope out the company culture or pay scale just by asking a few intelligent questions. You can find out a bit more about what kind of company you would potentially be working for without having to burn any fossil fuels.
There are distractions in the home that could interfere with your interview. For example, my father runs an engraving shop in the basement of our house and on the day of my first phone interview he was beveling. This process is loud and quite literally shakes the entire house. I had to run downstairs and let him know when the interview was scheduled to start so he didn’t start working on that machine right in the middle of my phone conversation. So, whether it is engraving machines, children, Facebook messages or the UPS man making a delivery, you must watch out for these distracting encounters while in the middle of your phone interview.
Your conversation could become TOO casual. Yes, the pressure of face-to-face interaction has been lifted, however while interviewing over the phone, you often run the risk of slipping into a conversational pattern fit to be had with your sister, best friend or spouse versus a potential employer. Last week, I caught myself answering some questions by saying, “totally!” Not good.
As long as you don’t chomp on chips, chat on Facebook and watch Law and Order while having a phone interview, this encounter can only be a positive experience. I’ve found that phone interviews allow me to shine, because I’m comfortable (in my pajamas) and I’m able to reference projects and documents I might not be able to access if I were sitting in someone’s office. I just need to remember that “totally” is not an appropriate answer to any interview question.