When seeking a legitimate telecommuting job, finding good leads is only half the battle. Even more important is knowing how to present yourself well during the interview process and convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. There is usually a fair bit of competition for any good job opening, but this is especially true for telecommuting jobs! Work at home positions that pay well are in high demand, so don't be surprised if you find yourself among many hundreds of applicants all vying for the same position!
The question you need to ask yourself is: How can I be sure I'm putting my best foot forward during the interview?
This article will share 5 easy tips for making your telecommuting job interview great.
Tip #1 - Be on Time
This should go without saying, but telephone and internet interviews should be taken as seriously as on-site interviews. Be sure to plan, prepare, and be there on time. If your interviewer is supposed to call you, be sitting by the phone (or computer if online) at least 15 minutes before your interview time. If you are supposed to contact your interviewer, try to call at exactly the time your interview was set for, or even just a couple minutes early - but no more than that. Calling too early will just annoy your interviewer because he or she may be trying to wrap up a few things before your interview.
Also, be prepared by having a copy of your resume and cover letter in front of you, so you can quickly reference it for answers you may be asked. You may also want to jot down some responses to common questions the interviewer may ask.
Tip #2 - NO Background Noise!
If your interview will be done by phone, I cannot stress enough the importance of having a totally quiet background. That means no children yelling or talking or begging for your attention, no dogs barking, no television or stereo blaring. This will be even more important if you are applying for a job that requires telephone work. Make arrangements to be sure you can give the interview your full attention without any background interruptions.
In addition, be sure to use a landline telephone, not a cell phone. The interview won't go well if you and your interviewer have to keep saying, "Pardon, can you repeat that?" Also be sure to TURN OFF CALL-WAITING if you have that on your phone. That would be another big annoyance if you keep getting clicks and beeps on the line while you're trying to talk.
Tip #3 - Slow and Steady
Sometimes nervousness can make you talk a lot faster than you normally would, which can make you seem scattered or flighty. Be sure to pause before answering questions and keep your rate of speech moderate. Breathing properly can help you feel calmer too, so while the interviewer is asking a question or recording your answers, take that opportunity to take a nice deep breath - quietly, you don't want to breathe heavily into the phone!;-)
Also, keep your answers brief and to the point. Avoid rambling (another sign of anxiety!). Answer only the questions you are asked, unless the interviewer indicates he or she would like you to expand on a particular answer.
Tip #4 - Honest but Positive Answers
Probably the most challenging thing about interviews is figuring out how to respond to questions honestly without casting yourself in a negative light. For example, if the interviewer asks why you left your last job, you definitely don't want to launch into a tirade about what a jerk your old boss was and you "just couldn't take his crap anymore". Instead, you want to find a way to make all of your answers positive but still honest. This can take a little creativity sometimes!
Using the above example, you might answer: "I really enjoyed that job for the first 6 months but gradually I began to feel that the position didn't allow me to use my strongest skills to their full potential." That would be a general answer, but you could be more specific too: "I felt that the position wasn't challenging enough in allowing me to build my problem-solving skills and improve customer relations." That doesn't negate the fact that your boss may have been a jerk - but you don't have to focus on THAT aspect of the truth!:-)
Overall you want to be truthful with your answers, but also find a way to put a positive spin on them. Whatever you do, avoid blaming, pointing fingers, or expressing bitterness about previous jobs, employers, managers, or co-workers. You want to portray yourself as being mature and professional, which you can't do with a negative attitude!
Tip #5 - Be Yourself
Finally, remember that your interviewer is trying to determine one thing: whether YOU are the right person to join their team. But he or she will not be able to tell that if you're busy trying to be someone else! Interviews can be intimidating and you may think that you have to become this super-polished professional that "wows" the interviewer, but it's really not necessary.
Instead, be yourself. Certainly you want to be professional and mature in the way you communicate, but you don't have to be an emotionless robot to do so. Strive for a balance between warmth, friendliness and businesslike composure. You want to be relaxed but not too casual; friendly but not gushy; professional but not stiff.
If you would like more information about increasing your chances of being hired for telecommuting jobs, visit http://www.creativeworkathome.com/telecommute.htm for step by step guidance in finding legitimate jobs, writing a powerful resume and cover letter, and more.