The summertime is a great time to thrive in your job search – and with the search eventually comes the interview process. Typically, when a hiring manager or recruiter reaches out to you for an initial screening, they will do so in the form of a phone interview. Their goal is to vet out the appropriate candidates to invite for in-person interviews which helps reduce time, resources and cost.
For anyone actively looking for a new role, it’s important to know that a phone interview can be scheduled ahead of time or can happen on the spot – so you must be prepared!
Believe it or not, many job seekers find the phone interview more daunting than the in-person interview because it can be more difficult to connect as easily over the phone, especially with so much texting and instant messaging these days.
I recently read an insightful Forbes article that talks about tips for proper phone interview etiquette, and I’ve even written about it in the past. I think it’s an important topic to revisit periodically. Take a look at the 4 Ways to Conquer Your Next Phone Interview below.
1. Gather details of the call beforehand.
It may sound funny to ask such obvious questions, but these logistics are significant in being prepared for your interview. Get confirmation on the date and time, who you will be speaking with, and whether you will be calling the person or if they will be calling you. You also want to clarify whether it is going to be a traditional phone call or video call. Understanding these details will help you follow the proper protocol and avoid any miscommunications.
2. Rehearse for your interview.
Preparation doesn’t only include researching the company and the role you’re seeking, it’s important to prepare your responses to common interview questions, as well. You may know your strengths and weaknesses, but rehearsing the tone, direction and length of your responses is crucial to conquering your interview. This can also be used as a great way to show your personality and share a connection with the hiring manager over the phone. Another way to prepare is having a list of questions that you want to ask the interviewer. This will allow you to sound more polished and interested in the conversation and the role, overall.
3. Set up your interview space.
Make your home your space for success! Be sure you have your resume on your desk or taped on your wall so that you can easily refer to it. Also, have a pen and paper (or tablet) ready to take notes. Make sure the room is free of noise, clutter and any children or pets. Also, be sure that you have good reception for your phone. This will help eliminate any distractions, unnecessary sounds in the background or dropped calls.
4. No matter what, be professional.
No matter how much preparation you conduct, surprises can always come about during phone interviews —especially if you do not know the number calling. If this is the case, be sure to identify yourself so that the caller knows they’ve dialed the correct phone number. To set the professional tone from the beginning, address the caller by Mr. or Ms., unless they’ve requested to be called by their first name. Lastly, make sure you listen to what the hiring manager has to say and don’t interrupt! Be sure they’ve finished asking their full question before starting to respond. Taking a short breath or pause before speaking will also help you collect your thoughts and be able to properly reply to the question.
Have some other tips to conquering phone interviews? Comment below and let us know!