by Darlene Zambruski, CPRW, SME
With non-traditional interview methods being employed more and more for telecommuting and other jobs, it’s important to know appropriate and effective conduct that will enhance your candidacy.
1. Always use a landline, not a cell phone during these interviews:
Why? Because cell phone signals have a tendency to cut in and out. Additionally, poor reception will not only distract from the interview process, it will certainly aggravate the employer. The best advice is don’t risk it.
2. Always use a phone that’s in a quiet area:
It’s unprofessional and certainly not conducive to impressing a potential employer when there are children crying or shouting in the background, dogs barking, trash being picked up or a TV/stereo blaring away. You wouldn’t conduct an interview in an office in this manner – don’t do it that way at home.
3. Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard:
If an employer is forced to say, “Excuse me, I can’t hear you,” several times without the problem being rectified, you can be assured that person will stop listening. Additionally, never eat or drink anything while on the line. This can clearly be heard, and it’s not something you would do if you were face-to-face with that person.
4. Never interrupt:
Many individuals feel that their behavior can be more casual when using the telephone. Nothing could be further from the truth. You wouldn’t interrupt the interviewer in person – don’t do it by phone.
5. If this is a videoconference:
Dress in appropriate business attire. What’s more, make very certain that the area behind the video monitor looks professional. Don’t make the mistake of having clothes and dirty dishes strewn about, or inappropriate posters hanging on the wall. Everything, right down to what’s on your desk, should look orderly and professional.
6. If you are asked a question and don’t immediately know how to answer, don’t keep quiet while you think of a response.
This is especially true of telephone interviews. After several seconds of dead air, an interviewer may very well think that you’re no longer on the line. Instead, preface your coming remarks with, “That’s a good question. I want to answer it fully, so please give me a second.” That gives the interviewer a cue as to what’s happening on your end.