Typically these interviews are reserved as a pre-screen for the applicant. The hiring manager found what you submitted interesting, and they want to learn more about you. By doing a great job during your phone interview, you can almost guarantee an in-person interview. Plus, you’ll have a chance to learn more about the company and what is important to them, making your preparations for an in-person interview much, much easier.
Here are four quick tips to follow in order to completely rock a phone interview.
1.) Be prepared at the time of the phone call
A phone interview doesn’t mean you can take the call while lying down in bed. Just because your interviewer can’t see you doesn’t mean there isn’t benefit in getting ready. Get up and be dressed as if you were going to a real interview. This will help put you in the right mindset for an interview versus wearing your pajamas.
With a phone interview, the way you sound on the phone is going to play a major role in how you come across. If you sound sleepy or tired when you pick up, the interviewer will assume you are disinterested in the position. Make sure that you answer the phone clearly, with a greeting such as “Hello, this is (your name here)” to show that you are waiting for the phone call. Also, make sure that for the duration of the call you are free from distraction. Lock yourself in a room, in your car…wherever you can to avoid any moments where you may lose your focus throughout the interview.
Have a notepad ready with questions for your interviewer already written down. Take this opportunity to ask anything about the position’s responsibilities, the company and the company culture that you are unsure of. Do not ask about salary in the first interview. The first phone interview is often a pre-screening interview where the employers will determine whether or not you would be a good fit to move forward in the hiring process.
2.) Break down why you’re the perfect person for the job before the interview
Before you have your phone interview, review the job description one more time and write down three things that you have done in your previous work or education experience that would help you be successful at this job. Have these facts written down in front of you so you can use them when need be during questions, or at the end of the phone interview to summarize why you’d be a perfect fit.
With a phone interview, you can get so swept up in the conversation that you may forget why you are the perfect fit for the position. By writing it down and having it in front of you, you’ll be able to focus on these points and relay them in your conversation clearly.
3.) Take notes to use later on
Even if you are the best listener in the world, you will always forget a few things that were said during exchanges on a phone interview. Be it nerves or tangents, you’ll need a back up. Keep the same notepad you wrote down the three reasons why you’re a perfect fit on to write down notes during the interview and jot down anything of interest that the interviewer may have said. Also, write down anytime an interviewer seemed impressed with one of your answers. It’s these answers you’ll want to write about in your thank you note or e-mail.
Be sure to have a pen ready before the interview. Again, this will be another distraction avoided during the interview.
This is also a great way to remember everything that the interviewer tells you from the questions you ask them. You can learn a lot from someone when you actually listen and take notes. It will also help guide you as you research the company more for that in-person interview.
4.) Follow up
Just because it’s a phone interview does not mean you don’t need to be serious about it. Treat it just as you would an in-person interview. Be sure to get the interviewer’s name and e-mail address so you can ask any questions you may have later on, and also to follow up with a quick thank you e-mail as soon as you can the same day.