The job searching process can be overwhelming from the start. On top of that, you have to complete lengthy applications and make sure resumes and cover letters will “wow” those on the receiving end. Then, comes the often-dreaded interview process. Many companies will conduct phone screenings and interviews before having a job candidate come in for an in-person interview. Phone interviews can be intimidating—it’s difficult to present your personality over the phone and connect with someone you’ve never met before in order to make a good first impression. Lucky for you, today we’re sharing our best phone interview tips.
Phone Interview Tips
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Organize your thoughts and potential questions before a phone interview, just as you would for an in-person interview. Do your research on the company and the position you applied for so you’re not caught off guard.
Have your resume and cover letter handy
Even though you’ve already submitted your resume and cover letter to the company, they may want to go over it again with you. It’s best to have both right in front of you so you stay consistent with your original message and leave no room for questions on their end.
Find a no-distraction area
The last thing a phone interviewer wants to hear is noise and distraction in the background when they are trying to see if you are a good fit for the job. Make sure you make others in your home (or office) aware that you’re about to be on the phone, or go into a quiet room. Make sure all televisions and computer volume is turned off as well.
You’ll want to make sure you’re not missing any important information in the case that you’ll be called back for an in-person interview. These notes will be good to review before that occurs. Try writing what questions they ask over the phone in case they are asked again in-person. Notes will also be good for you to review afterward, to determine if the position seems like a good fit for you.
It’s not every day that you are talking on the phone to interview for a job, so don’t speak in the way you would normally to friends and family. Speak clearly, try not to use filler words such as “like” and “um,” and speak a little bit (just a little bit) louder than you normally would so you don’t have to repeat yourself.
When you answer the call, thank the person for contacting you. When you finish the call, re-thank them and tell them how much you’re looking forward to hearing from the company in the future. It’s also a bonus to tell the interview to have a great day and that you appreciate the time they took to call you.
What will separate you from other phone interviewers is your personality. While it’s difficult to get to know someone over the phone, the best way to feel comfortable is to just be yourself. Whatever you do, don’t try pretend to be someone you’re not—especially if you’re called in for an in-person interview and show up with a different personality!
What advice would you give someone who is about to have a phone interview? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, below!