A phone interview is just as important to your chance of getting the job as an in-person interview. In fact, if you don’t get past that telephone interview, you may never get to an actual person. Even though you don’t talk face-to-face, you need to be very prepared. The phone interview is a screening, a way for the hiring manager to see if you’re even worth meeting. So this is your first, and possibly your only, chance to make a good impression. When the time comes to answer the call, here are some tips to nail the phone interview:
Do Your Research
You need to know what you’re talking about. The hiring manager wants to see that you’re familiar with the company, have a basic idea of how it operates and the direction it’s heading, and that your skills are a fit to the job description. Research will also help you anticipate questions that you may be asked. And it will help you form your own questions to ask which helps to show off your knowledge about the company. Thorough research shows that you’re eager to learn, consider solutions, and solve problems. Search for information on the company’s website, social media handles, LinkedIn profiles, and trade magazines. And don’t forget to reach out to people you may know in the company or field. Their insight could prove invaluable.
Prepare Your Surroundings
Just because there’s a barrier created by distance when you’re on the phone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put yourself in the right atmosphere. This means finding a spot that’s quiet, calm, and has good reception. Don’t try to interview while you’re driving! You need to be able to concentrate on what’s being said without any distractions. It may help to put yourself in a workplace-like setting, to get yourself in a professional state of mind.
Dress for Success
Another way to surround yourself in a professional environment is to dress like you’re in a professional environment. Wear the clothes of the position you’re applying for and become that person. Your outfit will influence the tone, speed, and language of your voice. This will lead to confidence and empowerment, which will shine through to the hiring manager on the other end of the line.
Have Your Materials Handy
Keep your resume, cover letter, talking points, questions, and any other samples or materials right in front of you. Use these as a sort of cheat sheet for reference. They will be helpful in case you’re asked specific questions about any tasks you’ve performed in past jobs, workplace expectations, career aspirations, or examples of critical thinking.
Take a Deep Breath
Take a moment to think before you respond to any question or comment. Inhale. Exhale. Proceed. This will give you time to consider the question, formulate a good answer, and practice good phone etiquette. You don’t want to rush into a question and then lose your train of thought, or completely miss the mark because you didn’t hear the second part of what’s asked of you. You’ll sound prepared and knowledgeable, and you won’t be talking over the hiring manager.
Smile and Sign Off
Make sure you keep a smile on. Your voice sounds different through a smile and the hiring manager will pick up on it. Maintain this throughout the conversation, all the way through the sign off. When you can tell the conversation is starting to wrap up, express thanks for your interviewer’s time and don’t be shy about asking for next steps, whether that’s a second phone interview or a face-to-face interview. Through your smile, you’ll sound cool and confident and not arrogant. And as an extended part of your sign off, follow up with an email or handwritten note in a day or so to give them a personalized thank you.
Charter College is dedicated to providing you with skills you need to start a new career. With flexible class schedules, blended learning for some of our programs, knowledgeable staff, and hands-on training, Charter makes sure you’re ready for the job. Our Career Services offer the guidance and direction you need to be a better job candidate, along with the assistance you need to seek out a job that will be right for you.