In today’s job market knowing how to sell yourself in every situation can be the difference between landing a job or not. While doing a job interview in person is multi-faceted, doing a job interview by phone, relying solely on the quality of your voice can be a disaster if you don’t know how to use your voice.
I use my voice every day as a voice over artist, so relying on it alone to communicate is second nature. However for the typical job seeker the way your voice affects how people perceive you may not be as apparent.
Based on my 25+ years as a voice over artist and broadcaster I’ve put together 4 tips to help you ace a job interview on the phone:
1. Raise Your Eyebrows – It may feel silly at first but one of the benefits of doing a job interview on the phone is that the interviewer doesn’t see you. Raising your eyebrows literally tightens the skin of your face, like tightening a drum, and makes you sound brighter…not smarter brighter, but brighter as in more clear. (The smarter kind of brighter I’ll leave up to you).
]2. Smile 🙂 – A similar technique to raising your eyebrows, is smiling while you talk. Smiling will tighten the skin and muscles around your jaw brightening your sound and as you speak will make you sound more articulate. From the point of view of the interviewer, you will also come across as being friendly, outgoing and enthusiastic.
3. Control Your Volume – If your interviewer has you on a speakerphone you will naturally want to speak louder as if across a room… do not do that, you will end up sounding aggressive. Speak normally and leave it up to them to increase your volume on their speakerphone. If you’re unsure simply ask them if they can hear you well. The other scenario is with the interviewer holding a phone to their fragile ear. Even if they are in a different country resist the temptation to raise the volume of your voice. Likewise don’t speak too softly. Try to mirror the volume of the person who is conducting the interview. Don’t press your mouth to the phone which will get in the way of the movement of your lips and likely give you an abrasive, hard-to-listen-to sound. Never use a speakerphone on your end.
4. Laugh – Now, when I say ‘laugh’ you don’t need to do it out loud unless the person doing the job interview says something funny. When I worked in radio I used to laugh to myself just before I turned on the microphone which did three things; (a) it got me in the smile position (see above), (b) it forced me to take in a deep breath which is a great relaxation technique and (c) it tightened up my supporting abdominal muscles which will help you better control your voice.
In the same way, as when I record my voice for clients I go into a specially designed booth that blocks out unwanted sound, it goes without saying that you’ll need to conduct your phone interview in a quiet place with no distractions so you can focus on landing that job! Good luck!
Let me know how you did! I’d love to get your feedback. Did these tips help?