Telephone Interview Killer: Appearing Distracted

Staying focused during a telephone interview is harder than it looks. The Public Speaker has tips on how to best present yourself via phone.

Lisa B. Marshall,
April 9, 2012

A phone interview is often the first (and only) opportunity you have to make a good impression on the hiring manager. To do your best, you’ll need to focus 100% of your attention on the call. Interruptions (like your cell phone ringing or people talking in the background) make you appear distracted and unfocused.

Of course, it’s best to use a landline phone and choose a quiet room in which to talk. Be sure you lock the door and turn off your call waiting, your cell phone, and even the sound on your computer so you can avoid any accidental interruptions.

If you have to schedule the call during your regular work hours, then use your cell phone in your car or in a very quiet place--like an empty cafe. But be sure you have plenty of battery power and be in place that gets good reception. If a recruiter calls you out of the blue, just say, "Right now I have a conflict, would it be possible to reschedule this call for another time?" It’s important to ensure that you have a quiet, interruption free environment so that you can puit your best foot forward.

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