In order for employers to realistically weed through all of the job applications they receive, companies are conducting phone interviews as a frequent screening tool. This helps narrow down the pool of applicants to those felt to be most qualified, before conducting a more formal and final interview.
Even though this is a preliminary step, the phone interview should be treated with the same level of importance as face to face interviews. Below are 10 tips you can use to ensure a successful phone interview.
- Stay organized. Most applicants are applying for multiple jobs at the same time and it can be hard to keep track of which company you’re speaking with. Make sure to keep a running list of which jobs you have applied for, as well as the company the position is with. The last thing you want to do is refer to the company you are interviewing with by a competitor’s name during the interview.
- Know your Audience. Do research and familiarize yourself with the company by checking out their website. Feel free to dig for more information about the position and company during the phone interview process. This shows you have a vested interest in considering this organization as a potential employer.
- Prepare questions in advance. Have any questions about the company or position already written down so you won’t forget. Being prepared symbolizes professionalism.
- Have your resume readily available. Take advantage of the fact the interviewer cannot see you and make sure to have your resume in front of you, as well as any other reference material you feel could be necessary. This allows you to quickly refer to information about your current or past experience. This also comes in handy if the interviewer is looking for specific dates/timeframes in your work history.
- Location, location, location! Location matters. You want to make sure that you not only have good reception in the area you choose to partake in the interview, but you also want to be sure to pick a quiet place where there are no distractions. Distractions, loud noises and other background noise can really disrupt an interview and leave a bad impression!
- Stay focused. Along with having a great location, you want to make sure all of your attention is on the interview and not on what is going on around you. Do not multitask during your phone call. Try to remain in one place for the duration of your call, and avoid busy locations such as a coffee shop or grocery store.
- Be on time. This may seem like a no brainer but we all know that when the unexpected arises it can sometimes cause us to become so frazzled we completely forget about a scheduled call. If need be, make sure to add the phone interview to your calendar with a 15 minute, or even a 1-hour, reminder or set an alarm on your phone that will sound 5 to 15 minutes prior to the interview.
- Dress the part. According to Thrivas, when you dress the part you would be surprised how much more confident and prepared you feel. Thrivas notes that “looking professional translates to feeling professional”. In turn, this can translate to a successful interview.
- Smile. Your tone plays a big part in how you come across, especially since the interviewer cannot see you. A smile can be heard through everything you say and do so make sure you stay positive and smile big! Don’t be afraid to show your excitement and genuine interest.
- Speak clearly. This is a big one. Since the interviewer cannot see you they are focusing even more on what you are saying, so you want to make sure they can hear you properly and clearly. This is when annunciation and speaking at a slower pace matters most! It will show the interviewer that you are prepared, relaxed and a good communicator.