You’ve learned an employer wants to interview you over the phone for a job opening. That means they are interested in you. So what else do you need to know? Sometimes a phone interview is a screening interview, used by employers to determine whether to take their interest in you to the next level. Sometimes time, distance, or a large number of candidates to interview makes phone interviews the next convenient step in the employer’s hiring process.
|Be ready for a phone interview.|
- Research the employer and the job. Know what the employer does and what the job entails by reviewing the job ad, the company website, and social media. Informed candidates come across as more interested in the job and better organized.
- Prepare some questions. Have a few questions ready for the employer, such as the biggest challenges of the job and what problems they need you to solve immediately. Don't ask about vacation time or salary until you are offered the job.
- Be ready to sell yourself. Be prepared to state your qualifications and how they meet the employer’s needs.
- Eliminate background noise. Find a place where you can close the door--away from the TV, barking dogs, noisy kids, the running dishwasher, and outside traffic. Ask others in your household not to use the vacuum cleaner, do laundry, talk loudly, or blare music during the call.
- Make sure you have a good connection. You want to hear and be heard by the interviewer. Find a spot with a good cell phone connection if you have no landline access.
- Ensure no interruptions. Turn off call waiting on your phone and ask others to stay out of the room during the job interview.
- Use the restroom beforehand. No flushing during a phone interview, please.
- Have water nearby. Get a glass of water ready and keep it on your table or desk, just in case.
- Have your resume, a notepad, and a pen handy. Your resume will remind you of points to make. You’ll be able to jot down key notes with the pen and paper.
- Be ready for the phone to ring. Make sure you know the right day and time (including the time zone) for the call. Have everything ready and answer the phone after one ring. You don’t want the interviewer’s call to go to voicemail.
- Stay focused. Avoid scrolling through social media, snacking, and other multitasking just because the interviewer can’t see you. Stay alert and focused on the conversation.
- Speak normally--not too fast, not too slow. Make sure the employer can hear you by speaking in a normal, well-paced tone.
- Show enthusiasm in your voice. With no body language available, you want your voice to convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Express your interest in the job. Be sure to let the interviewer know you are interested in the opportunity.
- Ask what’s next and thank the interview. Before you hang up, find out the next steps and thank the interviewer for his or her time and interest.
Phone interviews aren’t ideal, but they can be an important part of getting hired. By following my 15 tips, you will be ready to make a great impression in a phone interview.