Monday, January 28, 2013

10 Detrimental Work at Home Phone Interview Mistakes

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It's an exciting time when you're finally contacted and scheduled for a work at home job phone interview. Go ahead and do the happy dance and then breathe deeply.

It's also a nerve-wracking time and being prepared is of the utmost importance. Unlike unscheduled phone interviews you can make ahead arrangements with your babysitter and rehearse for your phone interview. Make a list of the most frequently asked questions and provide an answer for each of them. Practice what you're going to say and how you're going to say it, but make sure it sounds natural.

Phone interviews aren't easy as you have to rely on voice only. Sometimes you can give off the wrong tone ending a sentence in a question when really you meant to make a statement. Listening and focusing is very important.
In no particular order, here are 10 phone interview mistakes you want to avoid.

1. Weak first impression - A weak voice is a like a limp handshake. Don't set the tone for an unenthusiastic, boring, uninteresting phone interview. Speak with a happy and confident voice, but avoid being annoying or hyper.

2. Modesty - Being too modest may be misinterpreted as lack of self-confidence.

3. Arrogance - While you don't want to be too modest, you don't want to come across as being arrogant or a know-it-all.

4. Negativity - Avoid being negative at all costs. It's easy to say bad things about a former employer and their company, but hold your tongue. It's a poor reflection of you and a character flaw that employers don't want to see.

5. Unprofessional demeanor - Listen to what you're saying. Do you find yourself saying "um" or "yeah" a lot? Research have shown people who dress the part, stand or sit up straight feel and show they are more confident. Avoid interrupting the interviewer: No eating, drinking, smoking or gum chewing during a phone interview. Speak clearly and enunciate words, stay focused and don't rush or speak off topic.

6. Dishonesty - Lying never pays off, not even a little white lie because eventually all lies will surface. It's just not worth the risk.

7. Flirting - Especially with someone of the opposite gender. It's okay to be friendly, but not overly friendly or too relaxed. It's a phone interview and not a casual chat.

8. Vague answers - This is where preparation for a scheduled phone interview should pay off. You should know your strengths and weaknesses, your availability for work hours and so on. Don't make it difficult for the interviewer; answer precisely.

9. Sympathy votes - This pertains to the question, "Why do you want to work from home?" While it may be true, telling a personal story isn't going to work. Employers want to know what you can do for them.

10. Missing the interview - Unless you were hospitalized, dealing with a family emergency or it was an act of God, there's no reason for a no-show on a scheduled phone interview.

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