The Pro’s and Con’s of Interviewing over the phone

The best part of a phone interview is being able to have your notes directly in front of you. ~Rylee Davis

Ferris State University Public Relations senior Rylee Davis is graduating in a few short weeks. As her graduation day approaches, she knows she needs to apply for jobs. She spent some time deciding where she wanted to work and updated her resume and cover letter. After sending out job applications and hearing back from a few, it was time to start interviewing.

Having a great interview is the first step to getting hired and it can be the most intimidating step in the process. Traditionally, in person interviews were the most common, but recently phone interviewing has become more popular. Ferris State University Alumni Keegan Brown said that interviewing over the phone is a great way to get to know someone quickly and see how they present themselves in a phone setting, especially if the role they are interviewing for requires a lot of phone communication.

Brown graduated from Ferris in May 2019 and has worked at Easy on Hold, a message on hold marketing firm in Kalamazoo, MI. He provided some insight into what businesses may be screening during a phone interview.

“You don’t see anybody, so you’re not distracted by the environment, by what your hands are doing, or thinking about what your hair looks like,” Brown said. “It really is creating a good tone and personality over the phone. It lets the employer get to know someone fast and feel for how someone is over the phone.”

Interviewing over the phone can seem more nerve wracking because you don’t get to be in the environment and see the people you are talking to, but it allows you to focus on what you are saying and takes some of the stress away.

Davis said, “the best part of a phone interview is being able to have your notes directly in front of you. I had a few pointers in my notebook, such as words that fit best for me, words that the company’s website had used, so if I felt nervous or I was struggling, I was able to glance at my notes.”

I try to just keep things standard, so I am making sure that everyone is having the same scenario presented to them

Having access to notes and information about the business removes the stress of memorizing the key points you want to emphasize.

Businesses can also benefit from phone interviews. They can conduct more interviews, giving more candidates a chance to be heard, and more people can be involved during the interview process. Advancement Communications Specialist for University Advancement and Marketing, Megan Eppley, said that having a structure and plan help her stay focused while conducting phone interviews. This allows her to give everyone the same opportunity to show their skill and personality.

Eppley said, “I try to just keep things standard, so I am making sure that everyone is having the same scenario presented to them. That being said, I try to be clear and concise and not trip people up with trick questions.”

Interviewing over the phone  can be a positive experience, but Davis and Public Relations senior Catie Shmidt said they both feel like it is easier to leave a lasting impression and be more memorable during an in-person interview. Davis also finds that dressing for the part helps her feel more confident during an interview. While she doesn’t need to be dressed in business professional for a phone interview, she always makes sure to wear clothes that make her feel comfortable and put together.