Virtual meetings have become a staple of business life. In our field and especially in the consulting arena, prospective employers turn to the phone to interview candidates nationwide and beyond.
I’ve brokered thousands of phone interviews over the years and just when I think I’ve heard it all some new animal in the background will yelp. I’ll bet many of the HealthcareIT Today readers have scary stories to share? The phone interview requires just as much attention to detail as an in person interview, and without the ability to read gestures your attitude becomes a key factor in the outcome.
Professionalism on phone interviews should be a given. Make sure you are in a quiet spot, ensure your phone connection will not drop, let the interviewer finish a question before you answer, and so on. Most candidates understand this already or they can be prepared ahead of time to minimize such snafus. The phone interview gets a lot more complicated when conveying personality and your attitude. Many very talented individuals have lost out on great opportunities because of a perceived lack of enthusiasm, positivity, or reactivity to the interviewer(s), the position you are interviewing for, and the organization you are interviewing with.
The importance of bringing an assured and confident attitude to a phone interview cannot be understated, yet it happens all too often. These are the intangibles employers are looking for and if you don’t reveal it through the phone you’ve got little chance to show off your 10 years of EMR or Revenue Cycle experience in person:
- Express your interest in the role you are interviewing for up front.
- Show the interviewer the position matters to you by injecting things you have learned about the role ahead of time.
- Handle questions that you can’t answer truthfully and succinctly, with assurance that you can learn quickly.
- The tone of your voice is also something to consider throughout your interview. Be animated. Bring some attitude.
Here is a quote by Charles R. Swindoll that I’ve always carried in my wallet about attitude. Think about it on your next phone interview and you’ll do great!
“The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important that the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.”