Congratulations! A hiring manager has examined your qualifications and selected you for a phone interview. If successful, this relatively short conversation could lead to a face-to-face meeting and a future job offer, so it’s essential you handle it properly.
Many companies are starting to use phone interviews as a step in the screening process. It allows them to narrow down the candidate pool before scheduling face-to-face interviews. There are advantages for the hiring company—saving time is the biggest—but there are also some benefits for a candidate, which include fewer formalities and less travel.
Doing well on the phone interview means you remain in the game and keep your hopes of getting hired alive. Here are five tips to make that happen:
Choose the Right Location
Another advantage of the phone interview is that you get to pick the environment in which you take the call. So, choose wisely. It’s best if you’re in a quiet room without distractions—pets, kids, friends—for at least half an hour. Stay in a good-service area for the clearest connection and to eliminate the possibility of a dropped call. If you’re using a cell phone, make sure it’s charged and call-waiting is turned off.
Greet the Interviewer in a Friendly Tone
Get things off to a good start with a warm greeting, using the interviewer’s name. You don’t want to come across as grouchy or unprepared, so make sure you’re close enough to your phone to be able to answer it on the first or second ring. Begin the interview with polite small talk if the interviewer initiates, keeping your tone upbeat and confident throughout the course of the interview.
Prepare Some Notes
One more benefit of the phone interview is you can have your questions and talking points in front of you during the interview. It’s a good idea to print out your resume in case the interviewer asks about your work history. Write down some of your most noteworthy accomplishments, along with a handful of questions you can ask about the role. While it’s nice to have a cheat-sheet, you don’t want to read each question as a script, you want to sound natural when you’re reading from it.
Dress for Success
Even though no one will see you, the way you are dressed sets the tone for your attitude. Treat the phone interview as you would if you were showing up in person. If you’re dressed for success, your tone will reflect it. The right clothing will make you feel more confident and professional, and the interviewer will pick up on that.
Speak Slowly and Breathe
Before answering any question, take a breath and give your answer slowly and clearly. Candidates who are nervous will often rush through what they have to say, pausing only for an “ah” or “um” when their thoughts desert them. If you remember to breathe before speaking, you will be less likely to start blurting out an answer before the interviewer even finishes the question. Think through your answer before you deliver it!
Implementing these tactics properly can show some amazing results during your next phone interview. If you’re looking for a new opportunity in your career, contact us today!