Interview: Prepare for the Unexpected

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By: Katie Kershman

I thought for this week’s post we would follow in line with last week’s topic on the job search after college. As a graduating senior, the search for a job is at the forefront of my mind (as I suspect it is for most seniors). Some of you may be lucky enough to have a job lined up at this point, but that’s certainly not the case for most of us.

I don’t know about you, but I have had a couple interviews for jobs out of state. As such, my interviews were conducted over the phone. These interviews have a whole different feel to them. For one of my interviews, I was snuggled up in my bed, wearing my pjs, and playing with a Rubik’s cube to keep myself calm. Over the few telephone interviews I’ve been on, I developed a few strategies to be successful.

  1. Don’t feel like you have to fill dead air – That is, if you’ve finished the question, and the interviewer hasn’t asked another one, don’t feel like you have to keep talking.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question – In many cases I had difficulty hearing exactly what the question was. It’s better to ask them to repeat the question then try to answer a question you’re not sure they actually asked.
  3. They can’t see you – So don’t be afraid to do something you wouldn’t do in a face- to-face interview. I fidget when I’m nervous, hence the Rubik’s cube. It kept me calm so I could answer the questions intelligently.
  4. Smile – Even though the interviewer can’t see you, they can hear the inflection in your voice. Smiling will help keep this positive.
  5. Drink water – Phone interviews can be very long, don’t be afraid to take a drink while the interviewer asks the next question. It will help you enunciate clearly since it can be difficult to hear clearly over the phone.

The College of Business does a great job preparing us for face–to-face interviews. On the off chance you do have to have a phone interview, I hope this helps! Have a great spring break and let us know below if you have any other tips!

For more interview tips, check out our post on interview attire looking your best.

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