A phone interview allows a hiring manager to gauge whether you’re fit for an in-person interview. While you may feel like a phone interview allows you to “wing it” from the comfort of your own home, preparation is key. Many of the same principles in a face-to-face interview come into play over the phone — but smaller nuances are outlined below. Follow these 10 phone interview tips to ace the call and hopefully snag the job.
Top 10 Phone Interview Tips
Confirm all details of the interview beforehand — send a pre-interview email to make sure the date and time are set, and ensure you’ve provided your correct phone number. It’s crucial that you conduct some research before the phone call, too — look through the company’s website, press releases and media mentions, and so forth. Dig deep. The interviewer will be impressed! At the start of the interview, remember to thank him or her for setting aside time to chat with you. Mention your enthusiasm for the position and the company right off the bat.
Papers To Keep Nearby
Keep your resume handy; use a highlighter to remind yourself of key experiences to mention. Also, keep a pen and paper in front of you to take notes on questions, interesting information about the company, and questions you want to ask later on.
Even though you’ll be in the comfort of your own home, one of the best phone interview tips is to dress like you’re in front of the interviewer. Slouched in bed while wearing your PJs won’t help you adopt the mindset of a professional go-getter!
Run Through A Refresher
Go through some of your past projects or accomplishments before the interview. Maybe give yourself a refresher on some revenue or numerical stats you helped achieve thanks to your efforts in a past role.
Cut Out Distractions
If you have children or pets who might wander into the room (take note from this guy), find a quiet place and lock the door. Cutting out distractions is one of the top phone interview tips, and could mean the difference between you landing the job and not. An interviewer’s nightmare? Hearing shuffling papers, screaming kids, barking dogs, coffee shop clamor and “Can we reschedule?”
Rules On Eating & Drinking
Never eat, drink or chew gum during the phone interview. However, if your mouth becomes dry during the interview, keep a glass of water nearby and have a few sips after answering a question.
Pay Attention To Body Language
Smile — it helps you sound enthusiastic about the job. Believe it or not, the interviewer on the other end can hear the smile in your voice. Also, try getting on your feet during the phone call. Sometimes, standing up during the interview (with good posture — a “power stance,” if you will) can help you deliver more confident answers.
Watch Your Words
Enunciate, and speak slowly! The interviewer won’t hear your responses if you’re either mumbling or zooming through your sentences.
Wait Your Turn
Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Never start speaking until the interviewer fully finishes posing the question. If you have something you wish to say, write it down on your notepad and mention it when it’s your turn to talk.
If you need to gather your thoughts following a tough question, feel free to pause. It’s better to give a well-formulated answer than a rambling, blurted-out response. (However, if the pause feels awkward, preface it with “Let me think for a moment…”)
Ultimately, the goal of a phone interview is to secure an in-person interview. The best way to wrap up a phone interview is to thank the interviewer — once at the end of the call, and again in an interview thank you email. It’s crucial to reiterate your appreciation for their time and consideration of your application.