Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular as a means of screening candidates. But, aside from treating it like a regular interview, how can you be sure you’re ready when the phone rings?
Employers frequently conduct telephone interviews during the initial interview round of the hiring process.
This type of interview allows an employer to screen candidates based on their experience, qualifications, and salary expectations for the position and the company. Employers save time by eliminating candidates who are unlikely to meet the company’s expectations during the phone interview.
You can dress comfortably, be more relaxed in a familiar environment, have your papers and information in front of you without having to shuffle around, and take notes discreetly with this type of interview.
Looking at it the other way, approaching the phone interview as a mere formality on the way to landing the job is a mistake. During the interview, the hiring manager will ask specific questions about your job history or previous projects to ensure you are honest on your resume and well qualified for the position.
A phone interview should be approached with the same solemnity that a face-to-face interview would. The most crucial step is a brief phone interview. If you don’t nail this step, the forthcoming levels will fall through the cracks. How does one achieve success?
Before scheduling a job interview, make the following preparations. Review these phone interview tips and techniques to ensure you ace the interview and advance to the next round.
1. Make a checklist
Explore the work posting and make a list of how your skills and experience fit the hiring requirements. Maintain a copy of the list if you need to refer to it during the interview.
2. Make a copy of your resume
You should have a hard copy of your resume, cover letter, and any emails from the interviewer on hand and mark pivotal parts that you want to highlight in the conversation. As this is not a traditional interview where you’d use nonverbal cues, you can look at your resume throughout the call rather than studying it ahead of time to remember key points.
3. Prepare your questions in advance
As with any interview, you should do your research on the company and have a list of questions prepared. You have the benefit of writing down these questions and keeping them in front of you during the call. These are the things that can make or break an interview. Create them with two objectives in mind. The first step is to provide you with the information you need to decide whether you want to proceed, and the second is to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the job.
4. Organize Your Space
In case you haven’t had much prior experience with phone interviews. So do everything you can to put yourself at ease. This phone interview should take place in a quiet area of your home. Remove any pets, children, or other potential distractions from the room. This space should be as quiet as possible, with no distractions or unexpected interruptions.
5. Establish a Schedule
Even if you anticipate a brief phone interview, allow plenty of time for your conversation. Many telephone interviews last 15-20 minutes, but if you connect with the interviewer, the last thing you want to do is cut them off.
6. As you speak, maintain a pleasant expression
If you don’t think it matters, leave yourself two identical voice messages, one with and the other without smiling.
In a phone interview, you cannot rely on your facial expressions and body language to speak for you; instead, you must convey your personality and eagerness through your words and vocal quality. When discussing your work, asking questions, or expressing your enthusiasm for the company, it’s a good time to smile during the phone interview.
7. Be Truthful
Even if you are interrupted, despite your best efforts to avoid distractions, notify the interviewer and do everything you can to return your full attention to the call as soon as possible. Being open and honest, rather than hiding a mistake or pretending to pay attention, can help you stand out from the crowd.
8. Speak freely
In most cases, employers use phone interviews to screen applicants and validate resumes. The questions could be more lenient to answer than in a face-to-face interview. It does not, however, prohibit you from taking part in the process. Before meeting with a decision-maker in a person, you must first persuade the interviewer over the phone. That is why you should ask your questions after the interviewer has finished. It will help you demonstrate the enthusiasm and interest that the interviewer seeks.
Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer. Be prepared to respond when the interviewer asks if you have any questions for him or her.
9. Finish on a positive note
If you are serious about getting the job, end the call on a positive note. Say something like, “Thank you for calling.” I like what I’ve heard, and based on what I’ve learned, I’m confident I could fill the role. I am very interested in this position and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person. What will be the next step?
10. Express a gratitude
Finally, write a thank-you note. Allow for a half-day business day before sending a quick message. This email should be forwarded on the same day as the phone call, but not immediately afterward.
Your goal is to get the in-person interview, and a successful phone call can lay the groundwork for what could be a job offer.