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Getting ready for on-phone job interview

Sunday February 17 2019


If your job interview is being done over the phone, remember to mute other gadgets such as watches and computers that could distract by their alerts. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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You’ve written a cogent CV, submitted your job application and you have been invited for an interview - but it’s not in person.

It’s going to be by phone or by video. The last thing you want to deal with during an interview is technology failing on you.

Here is the cardinal rule for by phone or by video interviews: Treat them with the same seriousness that you would give to a face-to-face interview.

If the interview is going to be by audio-visual, check your camera and microphone. Make sure your phone battery is charged.

Close all the background applications that haemorrhage your phone battery. Ensure your headphones are connected, tested and in a working condition.

You may need to take notes during the interview. Make sure you have a pen and a paper on the table, or a blank document open on your computer if you prefer typing instead of writing.


Also, print out your CV and highlight the parts that you want to emphasise in the interview.


One of the nice things about a phone interview is that you can have your "cheat sheet" in front of you which you can refer during the interview.

Prepare for expected questions in advance and jot down points on a piece of paper. Because you will be responding under some duress, make sure that your notes are in large font and well-spaced.

Even though during a phone interviews you don’t come into physical contact with the interviewer, dress as though the interview is face-to-face.

By dressing appropriately, your brain takes the cue that you are set for serious business. You get the right frame of mind.

Make sure you take the interview at a quiet place to avoid interruptions. You may head out to take the interview at a coffee shop because it has a steady stream of Wi-Fi but the downside is, the place is most likely to be noisy, if not boisterous.


Remember to mute other gadgets such as phones, watches and computers that could distract by their alerts.

If you are taking the interview by skype on your computer, close all the tabs to avoid any distraction. If your computer makes audible pings as you receive emails, turn off the sound.

Of course you want to sound good during the interview. Have a glass of water handy. Do some voice and breathing exercises before the call.

Your sitting posture helps you project powerful voice. Speak while standing or make sure you sit up straight.

Lastly, settle down a few minutes ahead of the interview and calm your nerves. You do not want your heart racing necessarily faster in the course of the interview.

With potential technology hitches silenced, you can now speak with poise and brio. Up your game and ace that interview!

Mr Wambugu is an informatics specialist. Email: [email protected] @samwambugu2