Even before the coronavirus pandemic, employers have had exploratory interviews with candidates for years by phone. While it’s obvious that we should put our best foot forward and dress up in a suit and smile for a face-to-face interview, you may not know that employing that same philosophy for a phone interview is also advised by experts.
Why dress up in professional attire?
Before I explain why wearing a suit is advised, let me illustrate my point with a polar-opposite example. Can you imagine interviewing for a job (even by phone) in a bathing suit? I think it’s fair to say that few people would not dress down so informally because it would be uncomfortable for so many reasons. You’d feel cold, vulnerable, and unprofessional. Again, even on the phone.
How about going in the middle? What if you weren’t dressed up, but casual instead. Maybe you aren’t even showered when you have the phone interview. Do you think that you will be at your best if you were not fully groomed? I can speak for myself, and the answer is definitely no. I wouldn’t feel 100%, especially if I were unshaven.
Now, let’s go in the opposite direction. If you wear something a lot more formal, then you are going to feel confident and professional. And, without a doubt, the person on the other end of the phone is going to “feel” it – which is also why you should smile. Many professional studies have been done on these subjects, and the consensus is strong: People who go the extra mile, have a power poster, and smile on the phone get better results. With so much working against you in the job market, then why wouldn’t you do everything possible to do better?
When we communicate with other people face to face, there are so many indicators that go into our message: facial expressions, mannerisms, stance, etc. Communication is so much more than the words we use. When we are on the phone, all those other visual messages are lost. Making those changes when interviewing on the phone makes a difference on the other end of the line – and that matters in an ultra-competitive job market!
As a career coach, there are a few more things that I add to the mix that I have never seen any other subject-matter expert suggest: I tell my consulting clients to warm up their voice, body and mind as well – for both phone and in-person interviews.
Professional speakers and public figures (even actors) warm up their voices and bodies before the speak or perform. It makes an amazing difference. With so much extreme competition in the marketplace, one cannot leave any stone unturned.
Many hurdles are in the way of job candidates nowadays, especially for the great jobs. Hundreds of job seekers are going to apply; and if you want to be the one to get the job, then you must leap over every hurdle they put in your way. In the end, it will come down to a few candidates, and the ones that over-prepare and impress recruiters at every stage are ultimately going to be the ones to come out on top.
I have seen so many candidates outshine more-experienced job seekers and “beat out” their competition for the job because they wanted it more, and were willing to go the extra mile.
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Written by assistants working for celebrities, billionaires and royalty