Do you have problems talking to people over the phone like me? I thought this phone interviewing tip from Gretchen, a Senior Talent Scout at Microsoft, was a very useful advice:
Get outta that chair! Try standing up and even walking around a bit during a phone interview. People tend to speak more clearly and confidently when standing. (Seriously, this works!)
I have a unique voice and phone seems to amplify that uniqueness. And my concerns about sounding silly over the phone tend to undermine the strength of my voice. One solution I found was to use a full (meaning both ears aka binaural) headphone set with attached microphone. With the headset, I can hear the other person speaking as well as my own voice clearly. This allows me to immerse myself fully into the conversation and dispell (actually, forget) any concerns I might have about my voice.
My last headset broke some years ago and I have yet to replace it, but I think I am going to get a wireless telephone headset now so I can take full advantage of Gretchen's advice. What I would like to have is a full wireless headset with microphone and a wireless base that plugs into both USB port and my telephone so I can use it for both phone and chat.
After a brief search, I found that these gadgets are called Multimedia Headset Amplifiers. They are just like regular headset amplifiers except they also plug into your PC and allows you to use the same (potentially very expensive) headset for VoIP and other audio applications as well as regular phone calls. Here are the three models are I found:
They are all kind of pricey ($100~$180), particularly when the price of a decent headset is thrown in ($80~$200), but since a good conversation can mean a lot to anyone's life, I think it's good investment. Heck, it's better than spending a few hundred on the latest cellphone. Only concern I have is that all three uses analog jacks instead of USB. Hmm. Maybe that's a good thing since USB means more software is needed and these phone equipment guys are not well known for writing quality software. Anyway, I am going to get one of the three soon.
BTW, I gave up on the wireless because it lowers sound quality and they cost too much. I can make do with a long cord.
I ordered the Hello Direct Virtuoso with the nice headset. I sure hope it works as advertised because, if I am going to have what looks like an android's left foot on my desk, it better perform.
I got it today and but am sending it back because:
- it doesn't have separate volume controls for outgoing and incoming voice.
- shallow cup and highly sensitive microphone created an echo of sort.
- Virtuoso looked too cheaply made and fragile.
Instead, I ordered the Plantronics MX10 and Telex H-51 headset via Amazon. MX10 looks well made and has separate volume control. H-51 has deep cups (almost like aviation headsets) and has excellent reviews. This combo is not only better, but cheaper. I gotta like that.