In this article, we are going to learn about the Phone Interview Tips and the dos and don’ts of talking on a telephonic interview.
A telephone interview is a pre-scheduled interview that takes place over the telephone, and is conducted by employers in the initial interview round of the hiring process. It takes place between a recruiter and a job-seeking candidate.
These kind of interviews allow employers to judge candidates on the basis of their experience, qualifications, and salary expectations, in accordance to the job position. Mostly this type of interview is conducted as the first stage of a job interview process, and it is an effective way to judge candidates quickly, with the lowest expenditure of any type of interview. This is why it is mostly used by various companies frequently.
Useful Information Regarding Telephonic Interview
These interviews are almost straightforward. The employers are always looking for those candidates that remain calm, confident and generate intelligent set of responses to questions during a telephone interview.
However, the graduate level telephone interviews are normally short, and feature competency based questions and questions about your CV, work experience and education.
A good resume is not the only thing to help you get in the door. Mostly the companies want you to go through a telephonic interview first. After the complete analysis of your qualification, confidence, interaction and communication skills, and your qualification obviously, only a few of the candidates are shortlisted, and selected for later hiring proceedings.
The time of in-person interviews is nearly gone. In the busy digital world today, many important and even final interviews are being held in a wide variety of mediums including the telephone.
The basic point and the main idea behind it is to judge your response at your first point of real contact with the company. It you are not going to attend the phone or come in contact through the telephonic interview, which is the first step, then you certainly can lose it.
While interviewing through phone, you have to work even harder and do some homework before, in order to be confident and make sure that you are capable, enough. This boosts up your confidence level and makes you a perfect candidate. The results of the interview will determine whether you’re invited to meet with company representatives in person or not.
Because of the fact that they’re generally brief and save companies time, many companies use it as an initial employment screening technique. Also they are more realistic screening alternative in case when the candidates being interviewed are residing out of the town and cannot immediately make up for an in-person interview.
So there are high chances of you to get engaged in a 20- to 30-minute phone interview with either one person or a conference call at the other end of the line.
Why Phone Interviews are Preferred Instead of an In-person Interview First?
The goal of a telephone interview is an invited to come to the employer’s location for an in-person interview.
You typically have just two assets – your voice and your preparation! So, advanced preparation is key. Since you may not know when to expect the telephone interview, it is critical that you do not wait to begin preparing for the interview until you have the interview. You have to accomplish your goal, which is, selling yourself, your skills, your experience, and your value.
Employers ask for phone interviews in the first place because:
- They want to eliminate you as a candidate quickly. They are in search of a good reason to eliminate you. If they don’t find any reason, that means you are capable enough for hiring. This is common in big companies, and instead of spending the time and resources for an in person interview, they are in search of a reason to eliminate you and cut your name off the list of candidates. Beware that you are calm and confident enough to face them.
- Interview candidates that reside out of town or aren’t able to attend an in-person interview for some reason, that’s why phone interviews are preferred first, and if you sound interesting to them, then they may call you for an in-person interview later on.
- The reason why firms conduct a telephone interview is to find out how keen candidates are about working at their company and in the particular job role applied for. It is important to be enthusiastic throughout your telephone conversation, but make a particular effort to be forthcoming at the close.
A phone interview though sounds quite informal, but is not that much. You need to be sure to do homework and research the company, study the job description, and practice your responses to anticipated questions, just as you would for any other interview. Don’t take it light or easy and be prepared for it.
After having your resume submitted and receiving an interview call, some of the information is asked from you on the phone, which is related to the information that appears on these documents. You might also want to have in front of you any supporting materials that can facilitate you in the interview.
Phone interviews can be tricky as you are not present face-to-face and can’t see the expressions and body language of the interviewer during the phone call. This makes a big difference from the typical interview. But if you prepare well for your phone interview, you won’t need to read anyone’s expressions to judge your performance and you will definitely be confident about it.
Preparation for a telephone interview is necessary. You should be mentally prepared first, in order to avoid loss of confidence while talking. You should be sure about yourself and your abilities.
Here are some points you should remember while preparing for a phone interview:
- Treat the phone interview seriously, just as you would a face-to-face interview.
- Have your resume and cover letter in front of you.
- Make a cheat sheet.
- Get a high-quality phone.
- Shower, groom and dress up (at least a little).
- Stand up, or at least sit up straight at a table or desk.
- Jot down a few notes about the most critical points you want to make with your interviewer.
- Are there certain skills and experiences you want to emphasize or do you have certain interests you want your interviewer to know about? Be sure these pieces of information appear on your resume. Then discuss them during the interview call.
Types of Interview
There are two types of phone interviews
Often the first contact for a scheduled interview comes by email or via LinkedIn, but theoretically your phone can ring at any time. So make sure you answer it yourself and are prepared well for it. Also make sure to have a professional voicemail message.
Unscheduled calls never work in your favor. If you’re caught by surprise, schedule another time to talk. These are not decided or scheduled before, and can happen anytime when asked.
Things to Do Before, During and After the Phone Interview
Before proceeding towards the useful Phone Interview Tips, let’s discuss the things that are necessary to do before, during and after the phone interview.
1. Before the Phone Interview
Do your homework
Before the interview, make sure you have researched the company and the interviewer, same like you would have prepared in case on an in-person interview. Some questions like, “What do you know about us?” can be asked. If you are not able to state the company’s key figures, strategy and markets, the interview might be over after only three minutes and it may cast a negative impression. It is one of the benefits of a phone interview, that you can have your “cheat sheet” in front of you.
Prepare questions. Remember these can make or break an interview. Design questions to give you the information you need to determine and to show you are perfect for the job.
Prepare questions. Remember these can make or break an interview. Design questions to give you the information you need to determine and to show you are perfect for the job.
Create a comfortable environment
Try to keep the things comfortable and composed. Though you might not have a lot of experience with phone interviews, which is the reason why you find them more stressful than live ones. Do everything you can to feel at ease. Eliminate the sources of distraction and background noise. Have a glass of water near you.
Keep a copy of resume near you to help you out when stuck at any point. Be ready a few minutes before to avoid sounding rushed. Have a paper and pen near you. Don’t take notes on your computer during the call as the keyboard clicks noises may distract the interviewer. Turn off the sound of your computer.
2. During the Phone Interview
Listen carefully with all your attention!
Interviewers mostly talk about your expectations. Take notes so you are able to respond to all these points when it is your turn to talk. On the phone, you must make a good impression purely with our voices to sound calm and composed. Also don’t forget to drink water. Drink as much water as you need to avoid having to clear your throat.
Also, if you haven’t talked much from the past several hours, do some voice exercises before the call. Posture adds a lot to your voice. Stand, or make sure you sit up straight, during the call. Smile while speaking. This makes a great difference! You can test it by making two identical voice messages, one with and one without smiling. A good time to smile during the phone interview is when you talk about the work you’ve done, ask questions, or express your enthusiasm and eagerness to know about the company.
Create a positive ending
Remember you end the call on a good note. If you really want to get the job, end the call on a positive note. Say something like, “Thanks for the call. I am confident I could fill the role. I am very interested in this job and would be pleased to meet you in person. What is the next step for further proceeding?” Remember to talk gently and with good manners. You must sound responsible, professional and mature.
3. After the Phone Interview
Send a thank-you note
Remember to send a thankyou note after the interview. The note should be brief. This is just a step to confirm your interest in the company, your motivation and ability to do the job and desire to take things to the next step.
In many cases, you are not going to get a reply email to your thank-you note. Be patient. After two or three weeks, drop an email reminder, the last one, saying, “Dear XYZ, I was happy to talk to you on ABC date. Please note that this is my last message and I will no longer bother you. I am still interested in the job, and would be delighted to make your acquaintance soon.”
After that, don’t send any email or message. Now it’s totally up to them to further respond or not.
Once you’ve followed all these steps, move on to other things. Remember that somewhere out there is a job for you. You just have to find it and use all your potential to find it out. You must be brave enough to face or accept the reality. Even if somebody hasn’t hired you, you must not feel discouraged. Instead, you should try in some other hiring company.
4. Three Best Steps to Describe your Preparation for a Telephone Interview
Though we are all aware of the fact that a telephone interview is straightforward, and even many capable candidates can be rejected just because of the minor mistake they would have made on the phone call while responding, or maybe they were inadequately prepared or not used to speaking in a professional manner over the phone. Without eye contact it can be difficult to build a good reputation and display a strong personality to your interviewer.
Below are mentioned the three steps to make sure you are well-prepared for a phone interview. These are:
Practice, practice and practice!
Practice is important, in case you haven’t worked in any office before or used a telephone to talk to clients in previous jobs. Even it has been observed that the candidates who don’t think they’ll have any trouble with this style of assessment are often the ones that have difficulties. So better not to be overconfident, and do maximum practice.
Research is important to know about a company, and a job role, before any type of interview. Make sure you also visit their website, competitor websites, read relevant trade press, and keep aware of current industry-specific commercial awareness issues. Be aware to know about the size of a company, its structure, its products and services, its markets, competitors and future plans.
You should always have a plan for possible questions you may be asked before your interview. Consider answers you can give in those cases, including good experience examples for competency based questions. Also spend time thinking up questions you would like to ask your interviewer. Asking your own questions shows you are interested in the company and job role.
For example, ask questions that are relevant to you, but not questions that it would be easy to find out the answers to with a little research on a company website, during your telephone interview. Try to search out most frequently asked questions on internet and explore them as much as you can as they might benefit you later on the phone interview.
5. How to Have a Successful Interview
Many candidates imagine the scenario of giving a perfect, successful interview, and wonder how to have a successful interview. While many of them might find it hard to get used to the telephone interviews, which is not a plus point. You need to be professional and presentable, same like you would be in case of an in-person interview.
Though it might sound strange to put on professional and interview style clothes before your scheduled telephone interview. But you may be surprised to know that it can help you to focus and get into a professional mindset. Also try to find a quiet and noise-free place to answer the phone and put yourself to do research on company before the scheduled call with a focused mind. Make sure to smile when answering your phone in required scenarios. This helps you to physically become more relaxed and resultantly your voice will sound more confident, friendly and assertive.
Stand up, or sit in a straight posture while talking. It can be a good way to keep your confidence and enthusiasm levels high. Even the professional salesmen use this trick to keep them focused and alert when making high-pressure sales calls. It is a recommended approach to use a headset when making, or taking, important calls, as doing so helps you concentrate on talking and thinking, rather than holding your phone, and allows you to use your hands to complement your responses.
Last but not the least, make sure to keep a hard or soft copy of your CV, cover letter and application form or any other notes with you to help you out in situations when you are stuck or confused.
6. Common Telephone Interview Mistakes
Below are mentioned some common phone interview mistakes. There are many candidates that fail in performing on phone interviews because of poor preparation, poor communication skills or making minor mistakes. Make sure you get rid of the below mentioned mistakes in order to perform well on a phone interview.
1. Using Slang
There are many candidates who often accidentally use slang during a telephone interview without even realizing it. This is because they are too much used to this style of talking to their common friends, that they don’t even realize it that it has become a part of their communication. You should avoid using slang in any kind of interview situation. This is the most NEGATIVE thing!
2. Arranging Your Interview
Many candidates even arrange their interviews without even considering when they will next be free. They have no proper planning. Whereas, it is necessary to properly plan when you will be free and where you will be organizing your telephone interview.
3. Answering the Phone
Remember that your telephone interview begins from the moment you answer the telephone and ends only when the conversation, questions and your goodbyes have been completed. Each of your message should be outgoing, engaging and enthusiastic. You should aim to impress your interviewer at every stage.
4. Forgetting Your Interview
Avoid forgetting your interview. Keep your reminders, alarms or whatever with you. Candidates who forget a scheduled telephone interview are destined to fail and are not given any second chance. If an employer calls a candidate who appears to be confused, unprepared and disorganized, they will be unlikely to invite them for a face-to-face interview due to the bad impression of candidate on call.
5. Being Interrupted
Ensure wherever you want to take your telephone interview is a place where you will be left in peace. If your phone call is interrupted due to various reasons, it casts the same bad impact like forgetting your interview. So avoid such places that interrupt your call.
6. Charging Your Telephone
Keep your phone always charged so that you can carry your phone with you wherever you go. Especially, remember to charge it on the day of your interview. If your phone cuts out, or starts beeping during conversation, your interviewer might get irritated or lose your train of thought.
7. Time Limits
Also, the telephone interviews time is strictly limited so you may even feel as though you are being rushed when answering questions, and sometimes it is so strictly limited that interviewers even stop candidates talking and interrupt them even though they have not completely finished answering a question.
This usually happens because the candidate has already answered the question well enough and the interviewer has decided that they do not require any further detail or information, and to save their time and move on to the next question.
Also, don’t create panic or be worried if you take a little time to consider questions, or generate responses against them, before answering. Though your time is limited, but the interviewer understands that candidates need to take some time to produce good responses against their questions.
7. Telephone Interview Questions
The Telephone interviews are mostly arranged and conducted by a member of a firm’s human resources (HR) team, or outsourced to a specialist organization. These questions usually focus on your CV, work experience and academic history, your motivations for applying to the firm in question, your knowledge of the firm itself, your skills, qualifications and competencies.
Also it is less likely that a phone interview may contain technical questions, brain teaser questions or commercial awareness questions. Although you should not neglect them and still prepare for these questions.
Typical Telephone Interview Questions
Typical telephone interview questions may include:
- Why do you want to work in [industry in question]?
- Why do you want to be a [job role in question]?
- What are you most looking forward to in this role?
- Tell me about yourself/take me through your
- Where would you like to be in five years? What do you think you will be doing?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your greatest achievements?
- What motivates you?
- Tell me about a time you have led a team.
- What was your degree grade? Were you happy with this?
- Where possible, always use a different example when answering each question.
Also, your interviewer mostly tells you at the end of your conversation if they would like to see you for a face-to-face interview. If they do, thank your interviewer and ask them for some further details about proceedings such as when, where and with whom your interview will be. Don’t hesitate in asking these questions. If there is anything you should bring with you to the interview, what the interview format will be and how many people you will be up against. You can ask all these questions to make your confusion clear.
8. Phone Interview Tips
Below are mentioned the useful Phone Interview Tips to remember while having a phone interview.
These tips can make your interview better one and help you in getting considered by the recruiter after the phone interview, and getting the second call of in-person interview. Let’s have a look at these interview tips.
- Stay calm and composed. The recruiters are more concerned with finding out about your personality than your answers to questions. Never use slang or colloquialisms.
- Always try to sound composed and confident. Make sure you arepolite throughout the conversation. Don’t forget to research the company information before the interview to settle you into the right mindset. Practice as much as you can. You can even ask your family members or friends to call you and ask interview style questions, before the real interview.
- Take it as seriously as an in-person interview. Be ready and make sure you’re not tired. When your interview is first scheduled, make sure you set aside time before the interview to prepare for it. If the interview is in early morning interview, make sure you’re awake before the phone rings. Get your vocal cords warmed up to sound well, by having a cup of coffee or tea and be ready for your day.
- Don’t forget to dress up professionally. Sounds weird? Well it’s just a
Psychological game and can really help you kick your mind into the right frame to get you the job.
- Try to focus and cut out all sources of distraction. Make sure you’re not distracted. Turn off the TV. Nobody wants to ask you about your past performances and work history and hear music in the background. Putting it on mute is good enough either. Get comfortable, but don’t get too comfortable. Find some good spot to sit down and have all your prep materials nearby for easy access. Don’t lay down. Make sure to sit in a good posture.
- Make sure everyone knows you’re going to be busy for a bit and to give you some privacy. Put the pets outside. Keep everyone calm. Now you are going to present yourself in the most professional way possible, from the very first “Hello,” all the way to the “Goodbye.”
- Try to do some research before the interview. Double check the job description you’re interviewing for. Check how they’re doingand what they’re doing. If you know about the person taking interview, you can see what sort of digital footprint they have and find out more about them on a personal level.
- It is not a good approach to send them a Facebook Friend Request before you even have the interview. However, it’s probably not a good idea afterwards either. Maybe in six months when you’ve already got the job and you’re all good friends. But don’t send the request too early for the things might get worse. Tailoring your answers is the best possible way to ensure that not only are you satisfying what the interviewer is asking.
- Remember they are looking for a specific set of knowledge, skills and abilities and the person that possesses all of these is an ideal one to get the job. If you tailor your answers and show that you’re that person, then surely you are going to get the job.
- Don’t miss a single point of the conversation. Listen the conversation very carefully and don’t try to interrupt or dominate the conversation. You know this is an interview which means they’re going to be asking you questions, but you should treat it as an opportunity to show your potential employer that you’re good not only at answering, but listening too. You can talk, but don’t try to dominate the conversation. Let the interviewer guide the conversation and let him speak. Answer the questions, but don’t turn it into a one sided conversation. The conversation between you and the employer should be the same opportunity for you to know them as it is about them getting to know you.
- Always try to keep a pencil near you and jot down important questions and notes and save them for the end. Ask a few follow up questions but it doesn’t mean to flip the interview onto the interviewer. This helps the interviewer to judge that you’re truly interested in the company and the job. Have a copy of your resume with you always so that you can reference it at any time you get confused. Try keeping your answers thoughtful and reflective. You should not sound artificial. Make sure you breathe and speak clearly. Most importantly, smile! This changes the tone of your voice into a pleasant conversation and casts a good impact on the employer.
- You can prepare your cheat sheet. Like all good interviews, it’s not just about answering questions, butasking the right ones as well. The right questions not only help you get information you might need to make an informed decision regarding the job, but it also helps confirm your qualifications as the ideal candidate for the position. You can ask about the different aspects of the job and express genuine interest and excitement in the opportunity. Take the time to make sure that this is the organization you want to work for. It’ll save you a ton of heartache and headaches in the long run. Don’t be afraid to dig for more details about the position and the company. Ask questions about the job that weren’t covered in the job posting. Don’t go on asking questions that are totally irrelevant or too personal.
- You should know exactly what you’re getting intobefore you say yes to the job. Think before you speak. Never speak without even thinking about it. Agree on the things that sound suitable to you. Make sure you prepare your own list of questions before you start. Make sure your questions are thoughtful and have a purpose.
- Take a deep breathe before you start answering the question asked by the interviewer. Sometimes people ask questions but then continue to talk rather than waiting for you to answer. Give the interviewer a second or two after each question before you start so you don’t both end up talking at once, which can be awkward. Also, pausing a little gives you a chance to really think about what you’re going to say rather than just rattling off whatever happens to pop in your mind first.
- Be thoughtful, thorough and concise. Take your time and pronounce your words clearly. Speak slowly enough to be understood. Don’t be so slow you drop into a monotone robot. Your voice should have enthusiasm in it. Smile! The interviewer might not be able to see it, but they will be able to hear it…and that can go a long way in making you stand out for all the right reasons.
- Remember going through some common interview questions and preparing their answers very well. For example:
- “Are you willing to relocate for this job?”
This is a question you should ask yourself before the interviewer does, and one you have to answer honestly! There is no fudging this question. If you can’t move, say so. If you can, say so.
- “Will you travel for this job?”
Again, one you should consider before the interview. This one might be a little easier than the first question as it means you should be able to come back to wherever you are right now…but again, keep in mind what this means to both your professional and personal life. Be honest. Be honest. Be honest.
- “What interests you about this job?”
If the job requires you to relocate or to do a lot of traveling, then hopefully your answer is “travel!” Generally if you’re calling from a location far from where the job is actually located, odds are this is a question you’re bound to get…especially if there are other comparable jobs within your geographic area.
When you answer this question, make sure to tailor the answer to fit the qualifications listed in the job posting and then connect it to your skills and experience. You want the employer to see you not only know about the job you’re interviewing for, but that you’re qualified and a perfect match for the job.
- “If you were hired, how soon can you start?”
First off, don’t ever answer with “Now!” This really sounds desperate.
Though the fact is that you are really excited about getting the job, but the worst thing you can do is give a date to a new employer and then have to ask for more time. Be honest in what you say. Many employers, if they’re genuinely interested in hiring you, will have programs in place to help you relocate and ease the burdens that come with a full move. If they don’t, make sure to take that into consideration as well. Also, avoid focusing on during an initial phone interview is salary. It casts a negative impact and seems like you are so desperate about the salary.
- Send a thankyou email. Remember firstly you need to make good first impressions and the fact that you’re doing this all via phone makes the follow up even more critical. Make sure you not only end your phone call on a positive note, but follow up in a timely manner. Let the interviewer know you appreciated them to take time out to talk to you. It will help you stand out and reinforce that you’re truly interested in the position. Remember that their focus is on how you add value to the company.
- Direct Them To Your Personal Branding Website. This casts a good impression. Having your own branding website can be one of the most powerful tools you use as part of your job search and can turn the odds in your favor. It lets you show off so much more of your personality than your resume or cover letter can.
- Know whether you can take the call when it comes. Hopefully, you’ll be able to schedule the call for a time when you can focus completely. Be in a quiet place where you are comfortable and unlikely to be interrupted. Sometimes you can’t schedule the call. So, if you are driving the kids to school or dripping outside the shower, ask if you could schedule a later time. Of course, you need to feel the interviewer out. If he hesitates to schedule another time, you might want to plunge forward and do the best you can, considering you might not be getting another opportunity to present yourself.
- Have the documentation you need at your fingertips. Having easy access to the company and job information will allow you to confidently respond to questions without fumbling regarding which job you are talking about. So have a copy ofboth the job description and a copy of the resume or application you submitted in front of you before the interview starts.
- Know your answers to the common questions. Brief “yes” and “no” responses will not move a telephone interview forward, butwill end it quickly. So, start by practicing your answers to the common interview questions now so that you are ready when the unplanned telephone interview occurs. Paint visual pictures with your words by telling stories that demonstrate results you achieved or contributed to. The more you prepare now, the less you will ramble and leave out when the interview arrives.
- Smile when you are on the phone! Place a mirror by the phone, and make a point of looking into it and smiling while you are talking on the phone. Start now, so you can become comfortable with it. You will find that you sound more upbeat and engaged when you do this. Your smiles will be “heard” by the interviewer making for a positive impression.
- If you have a complete web portfolio or a LinkedIn profile, then you can direct the interviewer to it. Ask if the interviewer has access to the Internet. If the answer is yes, suggest the interviewer visit your web portfolio or LinkedIn profile. Place its URL on your resume. The interviewer will see what you have made public, perhaps an outline of key projects and a terrific graph that expresses your results. Telephone interviews are truly one of the best reasons for creating a web portfolio or making sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and shows your accomplishments. This enables the interviewer to see your value while you talk about it.
- Focus on your language and voice. Again, you can only go on the power of your voice in a telephone call. Speak clearly, stay enthusiastic, and use positive language. Avoid selfish questions during the interview. Also, don’t ask about the salary package now! It is not a good time to ask about benefits or salary. This is too early. Initial interviews, until you have an offer, are about selling yourself to the employer until you are the key applicant they want to hire. You do not have any power until that time and will just show that your emphasis is not on being a good fit but just on what is in it for you.
- Don’t hang up without asking for the next step and the contact information. The interviewer is bringing the call to an end but there has been no talk of a next step. Speak up! Show your enthusiasm for moving forward and ask about the next step. If an in-person interview is not scheduled at the end of the call, find out when you can follow up with the employer. Be sure to ask for contact information of the person who will be your contact.
- Write a thank you letter, and mail it, unless your main communication has been through email with the interviewer. Not only this, make a point of the value for the position. It’s easy to understate the importance of a phone interview, dismissing it as merely the first step in the long job-search process. In reality, a seemingly cursory phone interview is actually the most important step. Have a physical copy of your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. Type up a bulleted list of items you want to cover during the conversation. As each one gets satisfied, cross it off the list. Printouts are necessary in case your Internet is not accessible or in working condition.
- Make sure you have Internet access. It’s always best to give your full concentration to the interview, listening and answering questions. However, also take advantage of the fact that the interviewer can’t see you. You can open up the company’s website in your browser and have another window open to the search engine of your choice. But be sure to never let the interviewer hear you typing and catch you browsing on internet. Invest in a quiet keyboard or practice the art of silent typing.
- Try disabling all the other extra phone features that are present in phone. Whether it’s call waiting or an answering machine for an additional phone line, turn off all your phone accessories. These noises can be a distraction and can become a source of continuous embarrassment, thus reducing your chances of moving the interview process forward. Mostly, the phone companies let you disable and re-activate these features on a self-service basis.
- For phone interview, use a landline and don’t allow outside noises or low cell signals keep you from an awesome opportunity. Also be sure to use a high-quality phone. Every phone makes your voice sound different; too much treble and you might sound weak, too much bass and you could sound self-important. Find the phone that suits your voice best and perfectly matches your natural voice.
- Make the call from home. It’s important to make the call in an environment with minimum amount of noise and where you can speak at a reasonable volume. The more controlled the space you’re calling from, the less room for distractions and other unanticipated events.
- Give yourself time. Many job seekers make the mistake of trying to fit a phone interview during their lunch hour at work. But what if the interviewer is running a few minutes late? Make the call at a time where you have a minimum of 30 minutes free. Most phone interviews last only a few minutes, but if you end up hitting it off with the interviewer, the last thing you want to do is have to cut them off. Even if you’re interviewing for a low-stress job, rushing will increase stress, so give yourself plenty of time.
- No pets allowed. If you conduct the phone interview from home, do it in a pet-free room. Make sure your cat, dog or bird is occupied and safe in another room, so barking and meowing sounds really annoying. As cuddly as they might be, don’t give a pet the opportunity to be a distraction during this important phone call.
- Be honest. If a major distraction occurs during the phone interview, mention it. Your honesty will likely be appreciated; after all, the person on the other line is human too and has likely encountered a similar situation. The worst thing you can do is attempt to cover up something that takes you out of the moment, because it could make you look like you weren’t paying attention.
- Be ready. Prepare all of the materials you will need for the interview and be at the location of the call at least five minutes early. The interviewer can call early; in fact, some hiring agents use this as a tactic to test candidates.
- You must convince the interviewer that having you come into the office for a meeting will not waste their time. Make sure that your answers during the call reiterate your experience, interest in the position, and desire to continue the conversation in person.
- Answer the phone with your name. To avoid an awkward start to the call, take charge by answering the phone by stating your name. This lets the person on the other line know exactly who you are and saves them the trouble of asking for you. Know exactly how you will greet the caller and start the conversation.
- Smiling when you speak brings energy and excitement to your voice. When speaking on the phone, your voice actually loses about half of its energy during transmission. Make sure your enthusiasm gets across by overcompensating. Since no one can see you, pretend you’re on a soap opera and overact.
- Watch your body language. Everyone has different phone habits. Find middle ground and pay attention to your interview body language. Hold your body in an upright position and don’t be afraid to use your hands to be expressive. If you are the type of person who is on the move when on the phone, give yourself an enclosed area that is large enough so you avoid wondering from room to room.
- If you need to take a sip of water or handle a situation outside of the interview, the mute button can be your best friend. On most phones, the person on the other line will never know you hit the button. However, it’s always a good idea to test “mute” before the call to see if the person on the other line gets an indication that it’s been activated.
- Send a thank-you note an hour or two after the phone interview. This helps you close the loop and demonstrate your interest in wanting to meet the interviewer in person. The goal of a phone interview is to get a face-to-face meeting; don’t be bashful about making this request. If you can’t send the email right away, make several notes about the call while they’re fresh in your mind. These will come in handy when you send the thank-you note later in the day.
- Find a good location.Make sure you are in an area with good cellphone reception, where it’s quiet enough to hear and calm enough to give the interview your full attention. Do your research. Take time to familiarize yourself with the company–check out their website, take a look at their blog, and get a general sense for what they’re all about. It would be a plus point if you can mention a specific recent company blog post and explain why you liked it, you’ll get major bonus points for doing your homework.
- Stalk your interviewer on LinkedIn.Add your interviewer on LinkedIn and see what they’ve been up to. What school did they go to? What were their past jobs? Do you have any similar interests in common? You never know, you may find a great point of connection. Most people won’t mind if you bring up this LinkedIn- directly. In fact, they may appreciate that you took the time to learn more about them. It’s not like you found them on Tinder.
- Don’t talk about money or salary package. After all, determining an employee’s desired salary is part of the filtering process, which is why they are conducting a phone interview in the first place. Try to keep your answer vague by telling the employer that you need a better understanding of the total compensation package until you can state your desired salary.
- Acting upon these Phone Interview Tips, don’t try to lose sight of your phone interview mission, which is, to earn an in-person meeting, convince them to love you, and get an amazing job offer.
- Applicants who know a lot about a business have a better chance of landing a job there. In this regard, a recruiter Todd Moster told MSN, “Not all companies are alike, and even when they are, employers prefer to believe they’re different and special. In fact, many will ask you what you know about the company and the position for which you’re interviewing,” He further added. “Try to bluff your way through that question and the interview will be over, even if you haven’t realized it yet. You can avoid that dilemma by thoroughly researching the company and job responsibilities ahead of time. That will ensure your ability to come up with a unique and convincing answer.”
- While doing your research on a specific company will help you prepare for an interview, you must also be able to anticipate a variety of questions about your work history and problem solving skills. Many job seekers use what is known as the STAR method including situation, task, action and result, as a way to practice their answers. For example, you should be able to discuss a particular situation that you encountered during a past job, how you created a plan to tackle the task at hand, what action you took to solve the problem, and the result of your action.
- Prepare notes and keep them handy.One great thing about phone interviews is that you can create a little cheat sheet for yourself, just like that coveted 3×5 index card you were allowed to bring to your high school final exams. Go ahead and jot down questions, and outline answers to common questions or other info you want to make sure you mention.
- Practice your answers.In many ways you’ll want to treat the phone interview as you would an in-person interview. Consider your answers to common interview questions beforehand. These include your best/worst traits, occasions in which you faced a challenge, where you see yourself in five years, etc.
- Dress the part.The image we project of ourselves doesn’t just communicate through appearance. It shows in our mannerisms, speech, and other subtle cues. Dressing up for a phone interview may sound silly, but the right clothing will put you in the right mindset. At the very least, change out of those pajamas. Please, that Ninja Turtles T-shirt is starting to smell weird.
- Ask if they have any questions for you.Once you’ve finished up your Q&A, end things by asking if she has any more questions for you. It’s a nice way to cap off the conversation and gives her a chance for any last-minute concerns.
- What are the next steps?As the interview wraps up, make sure to ask what the expected next steps are regarding the position and when you can expect to hear about a follow-up. Not only is this valuable info to have, it also reinforces that you’re truly interested. In that case, just make some fake static noises and hightail it out of there.
- Follow-up with thanks.Always shoot your interviewers a quick thank you note. It doesn’t have to be a notarized letter of excessive acclamation–just a brief email of thanks will do, although sending a snail mail letter would certainly make you memorable. Sending a word of thanks simply shows that you appreciate the quizmaster taking time out of her busy day to chat with you. And who doesn’t appreciate appreciation?
- Don’t phone it in.Treat the phone interview with the same seriousness and preparation that you would give to an in-person interview. Remember, this could be the first step to the best job you’ve ever had!
- Keep your “weapons” handy.Have your resume, cover letter, and the job description handy, whether in paper form on your desk or a few clicks away on some Chrome tabs.
- Your interviewer will pick up on your tone. In fact, she will be paying even more attention to it, since she doesn’t get to see your lovely face. People can hear your smile, which makes them smile and think positive thoughts about you on the other end of the line. So go ahead, grin big!
- Keep it conversational.Remember, quizmasters aren’t just looking for the perfect candidate–they want to find an employee they will enjoy working with too; someone they can chat with about the latest Game of Thrones That’s why you’ll want to use a friendly, conversational tone in your interviews, rather than robotically answering the questions put forth to you like you’re being held at gunpoint.
- Speak clearly.As moms around the world will forever remind you! No mumbling is allowed around these parts. Speak clearly so your quizmaster can hear you properly, and keep water handy in case your mouth gets dry.
- Show enthusiasm!!Ask about different aspects of the job and express genuine interest and excitement about the opportunity. Like, wow! Don’t be afraid to dig for more details about the position. We all know how vague and horrifically bland job postings can be, often packed with tech garble that’s difficult to decipher. You need to get a real sense of the job to know if it’s a good fit for you.
- Avoid etiquette awkwardness.When dealing with an initial phone interview, it’s best to sit tight about benefit and salary questions. This first interview is about impressing your quizmaster and showing all that you can offer the company. On the other hand, if your interviewer brings the salary issue up, go ahead and serve a fresh hot cup of honesty.
- Show off your smarts with different types of questions.When the interviewer asks what question you have, that’s your big chance to shine. It’s good to always have a few questions prepared beforehand, but don’t be afraid to let the natural flow of the conversation inspire you. Questions show interest, so don’t skimp! It’s also smart to do a little research into the company’s competition, and ask how they’re different or why they’re better.
Using these Phone Interview Tips, you are definitely going to get a lot of benefit, and immediately land for a second interview. Be concise, professional and clear about your achievements and what you are talking.
Avoid shaky voices and keeping sources of distraction near you. Think before you speak, show enthusiasm, be natural, and here you go, to a successful Phone Interview, with very bright chances of a second interview call and further interview proceedings.