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In order to screen a large candidate pool and decide who should be brought in for a face-to-face meeting, many employers use phone interviews during the hiring process. When interviewing applicants living in other cities, telephone interviews are most frequently used, saving on the cost of making the applicant drive or travel to the city for a final interview.
In the job interview process, phone interviews are becoming a common first step, so it is crucial that you do whatever you can to be prepared for one. In reality, you may not receive any warning when it comes to phone interviews. In response to your resume, a hiring manager may simply call you to talk about your credentials for a few minutes.
Your best bet is to always be prepared. The following telephone interview tips will assist you with your next interview as well.
Preparation for a Phone Interview
In certain ways, a phone interview can be conducted in the same way you would a face-to-face interview.
- Make a list of your greatest achievements
- Consider the best ways of expressing your strengths and weaknesses
- Make a list of possible questions and prepare the answers.
- Rehearse by going through your resume with an interviewer and checking all your past jobs.
it’s not only about you getting ready for a phone interview; you also want to prepare your environment and remove distractions.
- Use a land line rather than a mobile phone to prevent missed or static calls.
- Keep a pen and paper so you can take notes.
- If there’s a danger of someone barging in, shut the door and lock it.
- Place your resume in a place that is easy to access.
Set out your list of achievements and any other notes you have prepared next to your resume.
- Turn off call waiting; you do not want to be interrupted during the interview.
- Mute all nearby computer and other devices
When you are not prepared or may not be able to stay on the phone without interruption, if a recruiter or employer calls for a phone interview, consider asking to reschedule and suggest some alternative times.
Practice Phone Interviews
The error of assuming that a phone interview is going to be easier than a face-to-face interview is made by many job searchers, so they don’t think they need to practice. The truth of the matter is that it can be tricky.
After all, on the phone as in person, you can be caught off guard just as easily. You would also not be able to see and respond to facial expressions and body language, which can feel uncomfortable and throw you off.
That’s why it’s helpful to practice phone interviews. Role-playing with a close friend or family member is the perfect way to learn. Remember to record the interview so that later you can play it again. Listening to the mock interview will encourage you to hear where you need to focus and help you recognize bad habits such as “ums” and clearing your throat.
During phone interview
The following tips will make you sound more professional when the time comes for the actual phone interview and improve your chances of being called in for a face-to-face interview for the job.
- Avoid eating, smoking, and chewing gum. An occasional drink of water to stop a dry mouth is okay.
- Keep your comments short and to the point. Keep in mind that you don’t have to respond right away. You can take a couple of seconds to get your thoughts together. Do not fill the silence with nervousness.
- Try to thank your interviewer at the end of the phone call. Now is also the time to inquire respectfully if in person it will be possible to meet. For your face-to-face session, try to schedule a day and time.
- You’ll always want to smile, even though you’re on the call. The sound of your voice can be affected by smiling, which can mean the difference between a positive and a negative image.
- During the phone interview, you may want to get up. A standing stance, which interviewers will notice, will make you feel more confident and solid.
- Be friendly, but not too comfortable with it. Never use the first name of the interviewer unless they are directly asking you to.
- Allow the interviewer to finish talking before any questions are answered; be careful not to interrupt them.
Once the interview on the phone is over
Grab your pen and paper after you hang up and jot down a few notes. Write down the questions you have been asked so you can use them for the next phone interview or in-person interview to practice.
You should also make note of how the questions were answered. What issues have you locked down? The ones that stumped you? For next time, evaluating your results will help you improve.
Finally, send the interviewer a thank-you note or text. A good thank you note will express appreciation for the time of the interviewer, express your excitement for the position, and reiterate your best qualifications for the role.