When you’re applying for a job, most candidates immediately think about the face-to-face interview. If you are already at this phase – refer to my previous posting HERE for tips on interview success.
The actual first step in the job search process is the phone interview. What is your mission? Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to to earn an in-person interview with the hiring manager and team, convince them that you are the perfect fit for the role as well as the company and to get offered the awesome job that you applied for. Without success at this initial step, the rest of the steps for interviewing do not take place.
Well have no fear! I have summed up six tips to help you ace your next phone interview.
- Treat it like a Real Interview
Even though you are not physically at the hiring office, the phone call is just as important. It is in fact a REAL interview and will be part of the consideration set that gets you to the next step of the interview process. Get ready for your call about an hour before your appointment and DO NOT schedule the interview during your lunch hour at work. Sometimes the recruiter may call a candidate 5 minutes early as a test so you don’t want to be caught off guard. Answer the call with your name, greet the caller and be prepared to start the conversation. Get your head in the game!
- Prep, Prep, PREP!
Do some research on the company and review the job description that you are applying for. See what the company is up to and check on how they are doing. Start to tailor some of your answers based on the research that you have done. Practice on some of the more generic interview questions that you can find online. There is no guarantee that the interviewer will ask you any of these questions – but you never know! Have a print out of the job description and your resume on hand before you start the call as a quick reference. Also, have a pencil and a piece of paper nearby so that you can take notes and save questions for the end of the call. This will show that you were paying attention during the interview. #impressed
- Find a Quiet Place
Before the call, find yourself an area that is not surrounded by background noise. If you are calling from home, make sure that it is a pet-free room. You don’t want your pet to have the opportunity to distract you from this important call.
- Talk Clearly + Smile
Talk slowly and upbeat when you are answering questions. Sometimes your enthusiasm can be lost over the phone lines, so smile when you speak. It will add some energy and excitement to your tone and let your enthusiasm shine through. Take deep breaths in between questions and think through your answers before just spitting out the first thought that comes to your mind. Be thoughtful and thorough.
- Keep Your Answers Clear + Concise
You must convince the interviewer that having you come into the office will not be a waste of their time. As you respond to questions, make sure to highlight your interest in the position, your experience and examples of how it could apply to this role, and your desire to continue this conversation face-to-face, but don’t sound desperate…
- Send a Thank You Note
I am huuuuge on these! Thank you notes immiediately following a phone interview is even more critical since there is no commute time in between. It is a great way to leave a good first impression. Follow up with the note within the first two hours of the phone interview. This will help you to close the loop and reiterate your interest in wanting to meet the interviewer in person. The focus here is on how you will add value to the company, not just what your past experiences were.
Remember that a phone interview is much harder than a face-to-face since you have to make yourself stand out to the employer. Once you land your appointment, you can refer to my previous posting for interview tips – HERE.
Thank you for stopping by and reading – I wish you much success with your future job searches. Please subscribe to my blog for postings and follow me on social media too!
Thank you JB for being my blogtographer!
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