Avoid these 9 phone interview mistakes

Original post: http://blog.brand-yourself.com/2009/phone-interview-tips/

Bethany Stringer posted an article on 9 phone interview blunders.

1. Do not stammer or use excessive slang. Uh, um, and like are horrible fillers in speech. It is better to pause momentarily to collect thoughts than it is to explain that you were the, uh, like, uh head, uh cashier. Practice answering potential questions with a friend or family member to help weed out these unnecessary (and unprofessional) words.

2. Do not reply in all yes’s and no’s. Answer with some personal experiences that are relevant to the job in question. Yes/no answers do not help sell your personal brand to the interviewer.

3. Do not lose focus. Remember this is an interview, not an exposé. Keep answers pithy and to the point. Go to an area where there will be limited distractions and both people can hear each other clearly.

4. Do not volunteer information. This is hopefully a preliminary interview, so there’s no need to commit to a salary requirement at this point. The salary the company is prepared to offer may be higher than what was expected, or, likewise, your requirements may be a bit more than they can afford.

5. Do not just roll out of bed. Since the caller cannot see you, it is tempting to appear disheveled. Getting up early, eating a good breakfast, showering, and dressing (does not have to be business attire) will relieve stress and make you more prepared and alert.

6. Do not be a robot. Show the interviewer that you are excited about the position with specific references to what is fascinating about the company. The energy and excitement will be apparent in your voice. Have an upbeat, positive attitude, and smile. It is surprising how much one can hear the change in a person’s voice when he or she smiles.

7. Do not wing it. Prepare ahead of time with some traditional questions and have your resume and the job description handy as well as any additional information about the company. Have a list of your attributes with situational examples that would be considered important for this job. Write down important questions that you have for the interviewer beforehand (focus on learning more about the specifics of the job, money can be discussed in person).

8. Do not have a hurried interview. When you are already running late for a meeting at your current job, or are dashing to pick up Jimmy and Janie from school is not the time to interview. While one would ideally be in a quiet setting with no other pressing engagements when the potential employer phones, sometimes it’s just not possible. Politely ask if it would be alright for you to call him or her back later and suggest a time (the sooner, the better).

9. Do not forget to thank the interviewer. After working diligently to answer questions, showing passion for the company and job offered, and standing up and smiling at someone who cannot even see your face, do not blow the interview in the last five minutes. Be certain to leave a positive final impression. Thank the caller and state that you are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the position with him or her further face-face.

Many people advocate watching yourself in a mirror (to help you remember to smile) and don't forget to brush your teeth. You will unconsciously cover your mouth and mumble your words.