As Summer approaches and I find myself asking my parents for money more and more, I realized that it's time for me to start working again. Even though I don't find a special joy in working, I do appreciate the feeling of self accomplishment as I check my email every two weeks for that special pay stub that provides me with a means for self-provided transportation and social outings. Although I already have a part-time job, I am looking to find another job with minimal hours that would suit my abilities, skills, and age. As I did some research online, I came to realize that most initial job interviews are conducted over the telephone. Why? This is a new way of doing things for companies because it is clearly a time-saver and is a very easy way to weed out ill-prepared candidates for the job. With the nation in the economic state that it is in, there are about 8 applicants for every job opening, which provides for a very competitive and somewhat chaotic system of hiring. Even though I don't have any issue with interviewing over the phone, I decided that it would be wise to research some useful tactics in swaying a potential boss to give me a face-to-face interview. Here's what I found:
Be enthusiastic. "Some people find it helps to smile while they talk," Stevens notes.
Use a land line, and disable call waiting. Interruptions caused by dropped or incoming calls just add stress you don't need.
Have a list of questions prepared. Well-thought-out questions show you're really interested in the company and the job. Also, have your resume in front of you. Make sure it's the same version the interviewer has.
Match your style to the interviewer's. "If the interviewer uses a lot of technical terms and industry jargon, so should you," Stevens says.
Never interrupt. Silently count to two or three seconds after the interviewer stops talking before you start.
Avoid negative words. "Banish negative verbs like 'can't,' 'haven't' and 'don't' from your vocabulary," Stevens advises. "Employers want people who can offer solutions, not potentially create problems.'
Recap your "fit" for the job. Be ready with a 30-second summary of why you're right for this job, using an example or two from your work history.
Ask about next steps. At the end of the call, ask how well your qualifications meet the company's needs. This will give you a chance to address minor issues immediately. Then ask when you can meet with them in person.
Say thanks. Follow up with an e-mail or a handwritten note. While you're at it, briefly remind the interviewer how your skills and achievements can help the company meet its goals.
A few more suggestions, from Paul Bailo:
Wear business attire. Of course the interviewer can't see you, but "you won't feel, or sound, as businesslike in your pajamas," Bailo says.
Eat a cough drop before the call. A medicated cough drop (especially one with menthol) will be good for your voice, says Bailo: "It's a small but helpful thing."
Have a photo of your interviewer on your computer screen. This could be from LinkedIn, Facebook, the company website, or anywhere else your interviewer's face might appear online. (You have Googled him or her in advance, right?) "It makes the interview a little more like an in-person conversation," Bailo says.
Avoid saying "um" or "ah." Try replacing those sounds with a pause, which Bailo says is "a sign of intelligence."
Take notes. Jot down topics and questions that seem to be of particular interest to the person interviewing you, so you can touch on these when you send your thank-you.
So next time you are looking for a job, remember some of these tactics and hope for the best.