Even today, when smartphones let us hold video conferences from nearly anywhere, telephone interactions are still critically important to most businesses. The way you present yourself over the phone can set the tone for an employer’s overall impression of you, so make every interaction count.
Be sure to answer each phone call you can, and never let a business call go to voicemail if you can help it. When answering, maintain an engaging, confident, professional tone. If a business-related call does go to voicemail, be sure to listen to the caller’s message at least once, and to jot down any important information. When calling back, strike a more formal tone than you may be used to. If you have the caller’s direct number, something along the lines of “Hello, my name is ____. I’m afraid that I just missed a call from you; is this a good time to talk?” If all you have is a switchboard number, maintain the same tone: “Hello, my name is _____. I missed a call from _____ [just now/earlier today/yesterday]. Is it possible to speak with them now?”
That much will help you set the tone for a successful interview down the line. As for the remote graduate interview itself, the best advice for telephone interviews also goes for video interviews. We’ll take a look at those next.