In-person interviews get a lot of attention, and to be clear: in-person interviews are definitely important. But when you’re vying for a job, any interaction you have with your potential employer gives you a chance to impress them. That includes the phone interview.
Many employers use the phone interview as a way to screen candidates before investing the time it takes to interview them in person. This makes the phone interview an important step in the hiring process.
So what are the secrets to nailing a phone interview? Our years of experience in the staffing industry have taught us a thing or two about phone interview success. Here are some of our best tips.
If you are supposed to call them, call right on time. If they are going to call you, be ready at the time you agreed upon. This is the best way to get the interview off on the right foot.
It can be difficult to avoid distractions while you’re on the phone, but take steps to minimize distractions before the phone call begins. Find a quiet place to take the call where you won’t be disturbed, and do what you can to control things like temperature and light, to create an optimal environment that will keep you comfortable throughout the interview.
A smile is an obvious must for an in-person interview, but it’s also necessary for a successful phone interview. Although your interviewer won’t be able to see your smile, it will come through in the way your voice sounds. Smile and be pleasant over the phone; you want to be someone they want to work with.
Prepare ahead of time.
Consider common interview questions, and prepare your answers for them. Have a copy of your resume with you so you can reference that as needed. Do a little research on the company so you’re familiar with their culture and style. Also, review the job description so you can address their specific needs. This preparation will go a long way toward making you more confident when you’re on the phone.
The interviewer will almost certainly ask if you have any questions for them. Come with one or two simple questions prepared, so they know you’re taking the opportunity to talk with them seriously.
Yes, you’ll be doing a lot of the talking during the interview, but you should be doing at least some listening, too. Sometimes it can be difficult over the phone to tell when someone has finished talking, and you definitely don’t want to interrupt your interviewer, so allow a second or so of silence before you start answering the question. Similarly, listen to the questions carefully and make sure you’re answering the specific question that was asked.
It’s good practice to send a follow up email after a phone interview. Keep it short and sweet. Communicate that you enjoyed the conversation and that you’re grateful for the opportunity, and make sure they have their contact information so they can get in touch if they want to talk more. If possible, send this email within a few hours after the interview.
A phone interview can be just as intimidating as an in-person interview, and in many ways, just as important. By following these tips, you’ll be able to nail your phone interview so you can keep progressing in the hiring process. Good luck!
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