When search for a job in modern times, everyone knows it’s important to be prepared for interviews, but not everyone is prepared for the different forms of interviews. As technology has made it easier and easier to connect people looking for work with jobs that are geographically large distances away, sometimes companies begin the interviewing process with a phone interview. This saves the prospective employee and/or employer time and money of an in-person interview when it can be determined over the phone that it would not be a good fit. Interviewing over the phone is similar to interviewing in person but has some important differences that are explained in this article.
One pro of phone interviews is that it can get a job seeker’s foot in the door for a job that they would not otherwise be a serious candidate for, typically due to geography. Another pro is that the job seeker can control the environment in which the interview is conducted, especially to make it as comfortable as possible. Most job seekers experience anxiety to a certain extend being in an unfamiliar room in a potentially unfamiliar building during an interview. Phone interviews are also great for job seekers who sometimes get tripped up by various body language or physical queues, such as unknowingly tapping their foot on the floor, difficulties maintaining eye contact, or not having their in-person interview wardrobe up to speed. Make no mistake, at some point issues such as these will need to be addressed at some point because in-person interviews typically still happen before officially being hired, but for the purposes of a phone interview these things become non-factors. Lastly, even though it is a good idea to prep before a phone interview similar to an in-person interview, a pro is that there is some leeway to how much you need to have memorized. This is because if you are asked a question for which you know you have the answer written down, you can get that piece of paper out and read off of it without the interviewer knowing (most of the time).
One con of phone interviews is that they are typically more impersonal. Job seekers who are planning to lean on their shining personality as a key strength typically won’t be able to utilize it during a phone interview. Next, when interviewing in person, there is typically no technology barrier short of losing power to the room/building. But a con of phone interviews is that the connection could be filled with static, get dropped, or the job seeker’s phone itself could suddenly have an issue and stop it from working. Lastly there is a possibility that something else could go wrong with the environment you are in that wouldn’t otherwise go wrong if you were doing the interview in-person. That smoke detector battery could finally give out, your kids could start pounding on your office door (or run into your office yelling), or there could be an emergency vehicle park right outside of your house with the sirens on full blast for some reason.