Bad Phone Interview?—Here’s 11 Ways You Could Be Screwing Up The Call
1. You Come Across Like a Complete Idiot
Do your homework. What the hell—you’ve been slaving at homework for five years (maybe fifteen, depending) at school and now you can’t do a little interview preparation? Put those research skills to work to show them you are interested in their company. If nothing else, putting those details in the thank you letter will show you are competent just before they throw it in the trash.
2. You Don’t Know How to Listen
Cultivate the skill of listening—this is good advice for all areas of your social life. When you always just wait for people to finish their piece so you can say yours, they feel like you don’t respect them. Not the best impression to make on someone you want to work with on a daily basis.
3. Your Life is Chaos, and They Can Hear It
Your baby’s momma is screaming in your ear. Your loser roommates just whipped up some pot brownies and are having a farting contest. Nothing screams unprofessional like someone who can’t even find a hole to hide in for an over-the phone interview.
4. You Seem Like a Push-Over or an Arrogant Prick
There’s a big gap between being an egotist and not having the balls to order a coca-cola at a restaurant without blushing like a two-year old. Find a medium somewhere between those extremes. Be confident, but don’t make them hate you before they even have a chance to see your ugly mug.
5. You Go Mental and Fill the Conversation With Dead Air
A slight pause to collect think of interview answers from time to time is alright. Your eyes rolling back in your head as a steady stream of drool dripping down your chin is not. Don’t go brain-dead when they are talking either. Shoot out some affirmations from time to time. They can’t see your head nodding, Guys, get a clue. Do what you used to do when you were writing essays—if you’re having a brain fart, fill the empty time with meaningless words that sound good, like repeating their question.
6. You Sound Like a Cartoon Character
If you’re whispering, yelling, or making noises like a dying mouse into the phone, you might want to work on this before the interview. Unattractive voices are a psychological turn-off.
7. You Keep Rambling On and On and On and On
Shut the hell up. There, I said it. You’re parents have wanted to say it your whole life. Your friends always avoided you because they didn’t want to say it. Just shut up. Quit rambling and using simple interview questions as a reason to talk about your boyfriend’s new car. If you’re really that hyperactive, do us all a favor and work at home.
8. You’re a Greedy, Needy Little Bitch
An employer wants to know you aren’t just going to worry about yourself all the time. They want to know you can see the bigger picture and be part of a team. So, develop an active interest in the job. Don’t just ask how much money and how many trips to the toilet you get. Ask thoughtful questions about the business and what your role will be.
9. You’re Too Much of a Coward to Ask for a Real Interview
If you really want this job, you need to get in the door. If you never ask for that face-to-face, how will they ever know you really want it? Coming straight out and asking is the best way to show you are serious.
10. Your Thank You is as Pathetic as Your Interviewing Skills
Don’t just mumble a “Thanks, Bro” or come across sounding like the kid that Starbucks pays to thank you for coming in. After all, you should be thankful. They really are taking time out of their day to give you the opportunity. Show them you recognize and appreciate that.
11. You Don’t Follow Up
After the phone interview, seal up that thank-you note, drop it in the mail, and chase it with an email. The thank-you note is more than just a chance to brown-nose, it is a traditional formality and illustrates professionalism. Use the opportunity to remind them of your strengths (subtle please) and show them again how aware you are of the time they spent on you.