9 Things to Never Do During a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are the norm these days. They give employers a chance to assess your skills and abilities in a more efficient way. While these conversations tend to be shorter and more casual for candidates, that doesn’t mean you can take them any less seriously than you would an interview in-person. Make sure you prepare ahead of time, all while avoiding the following common mistakes:

1. Multitasking while on the phone.

You’re busy. But that doesn’t mean you should be filing out an application for another job while you’re on the phone with a hiring manager. Multitasking takes away from your ability to focus, which will impact your performance on the phone.

2. Being somewhere noisy.

The local coffee shop or at home with your kids aren’t good places for a phone interview. Any background noise, even if it’s your dog barking, is going to be distracting to the hiring manager and negatively impact the impression you’re trying to make.

3. Bringing up salary and vacation time.

Of course, these are important topics to discuss. But unless a hiring manager brings them up, the phone interview is not the right time. This is like a first date; it’s simply an opportunity for both you and the employer to see if you want to move ahead in the hiring process.

4. Getting personal.

The hiring manager won’t ask whether you’re married, if you have kids or any other related questions for the simple fact that they are illegal. It’s therefore inappropriate for you to bring up topics like these.

5. Taking another call.

Putting the hiring manager on hold is akin to kissing the job good-bye. Unless it’s an emergency situation, decline every call and skip reading every text that comes in while you’re interviewing.

6. Being late to the call.

This is just like showing up late at any interview. There’s no excuse for it and it will reflect poorly on your candidacy.

7. Not asking questions.

While this is likely not a full hour-long interview, the hiring manager still expects you to ask questions. If you don’t, you’ll come across as less-than-eager about the job.

8. Talking over the hiring manager.

You want to discuss your skills and background. But if a hiring manager is moving onto a different area, don’t talk over them. You’ll appear rude and aggressive. Instead, simply answer the hiring manager’s questions as clearly and succinctly as you can and then pause and wait for the next one.

9. Using filler words.

This includes words such as “um” and “ah.” Instead, embrace the awkward pause and don’t try to fill it. Simply wait for the hiring manager to ask a question, or take a moment to collect your thoughts and then respond.

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