In order to save time and money, companies are increasingly conducting phone interviews in order to screen job applicants before they bring them in for an in-person interview.
How do you nail your next phone interview so you can make it to the next step in the interview process? Follow these 6 tips:
Prepare and Practice
Any interview begins with proper preparation. Research the company by visiting their website, checking out their blog and social media, and searching for them on the internet to find any other information that might not be on their website. If you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you, research them too. You could look up their bio on the company website or find them on LinkedIn.
The best thing about a phone interview is the fact that you can have a ‘cheat sheet’ right in front of you while you do the interview. Prepare answers to the most popular interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself,” “What interests you about this job?” and “Why did you leave your last employer?” These basic questions are almost guaranteed to be asked in this initial interview. You should also practice your prepared answers to these questions so it doesn’t sound like you’re reading them (even though you might be!)
Part of the preparation process is finding a quiet place to participate in your phone interview. Once you’ve found your quiet place, remove any distractions: turn the TV or radio off, put the dog in the other room and get someone to watch the kids. Any background noise could be a distraction to the interviewer and cause your call to end sooner than you’d hoped.
Make sure to have your prepared interview answers and a copy of the job description ready. And, if you can, use a landline phone — there’s always the possibility of poor service or dropped calls when using a cellphone.
Make a good first impression
Making a good first impression during your phone interview is key to ensuring you move on to the next round.
Answer the phone with your name, as in “Hello, this (your name).” This lets the interviewer know that they’ve reached the right person. After they introduce themselves, thank them for taking the time to contact you today.
Just like an in-person interview, you’ll want to prepare questions to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview. Some good questions to ask are “What skills are you looking for in a candidate?” or “What do you enjoy about working here?” Your last question should ask them what the next steps in the interview process are.
End on a High Note
This is your last chance to make a lasting impression on your interviewer. After you’re done asking your questions, tell him or her why you are the best fit for the position. Give concrete, real-world examples as to why you’re the best fit. Use the job description as a reference and try to touch on each responsibility, telling them why you are the best candidate to tackle the challenges of the position. At the end, thank them again for their time and consideration.
Just like with an in-person interview, it’s a good idea to follow up with the interviewer. Email them to thank them for speaking with you. This is also a good chance for you to reiterate why you’re the best candidate for the position.
To ensure they are only bringing in the best and brightest candidates, companies will continue to utilize phone interviews. Make sure you’re prepared by following these tips. Good luck on your next phone interview!