Phone interviews can be stressful. It's always a bit more difficult to wow someone without meeting face-to-face. Don't just dial-it in! Follow these simple steps to make sure you impress during your next phone interview.
Receiving an invitation to a job interview can be thrilling, but if you have never interviewed over the phone you may be concerned about how to conduct yourself over the phone. These eight simple steps will make sure that you make a great impression and get that invitation to an in-person interview.
1. Know Who Is Calling
Once you receive the information about who will be on the other end of your phone interview, it's time to start stalking LinkedIn. Be sure to dig up all that you can on the person conducting the phone call. You can never be too prepared.
You should know background data such as how long that person has worked for the company, where they were previously employed, and where they went to school. This not only gives you insight into the organization and what they look for in their people but also into opportunities to ask informed questions. If the opportunity presents itself to naturally weave these facts into the conversation you should take it. Any chance to show off your research skills won't go unnoticed and will help you further develop a rapport over the phone.
2. Do Your Research
During the interview process you should have received a job specification. You want to make sure that you have thoroughly reviewed what is expected in this role so you can speak to your strengths with regard to the position requirements. You need to understand the problem that you solve for employers. This will also help you come up with several questions to learn as much about the role as possible during the interview.
You also want to do thorough research on the organization itself, not only to wow your interviewer, but to make sure this is a company that suits your needs. The interview process does go both ways. You want to walk away from this phone call knowing that it is an opportunity that is right for you.
Your research should go beyond the company's website. Google the organization and gather recent news updates and press. Check out employee testimonials. Scroll through their social media presence. Get a feel for their story. If it's a story that really resonates, be sure to tell your interviewer why.
3. Create A Zen Environment
If you aren't comfortable with phone interviews, you want to be sure to create the perfect space. Make sure you are in a spot with good cell phone reception or use a landline. You'll also want to be comfortable. Have a glass of water handy and be sure to eliminate all potential noise and distractions.
Make sure you are armed with the proper tools during the interview. Have your laptop open with your resume, LinkedIn profile, and the job specification all at your fingertips.
Once you've created your zen interviewing space, make sure you are ready to go at least 10 minutes early with all of your tools as well as the interviewers contact information, just in case you need it.
4. Maintain A Conversational Tone
One of the biggest mistakes people make over phone interviews is a tendency to be low energy and sound robotic. This can come across as a lack of excitement and can be a turnoff.
Because the interviewer can't see you, you need to work hard to convey your enthusiasm over the phone. What you lack in experience, you can make up for with enthusiasm.
One way to keep the energy up is to smile and use hand gestures while speaking. Both of these tactics will inject emotion into your voice. Remember, keep a conversational tone. Every interview should be a two-way conversation. Be upbeat and friendly. Your interviewer is looking for someone they would want to work with.
5. Be Measured
While you want to keep the energy level high, that doesn't mean you need to yell or continuously speak without taking a breath.
It's easy to ramble or speak really fast when nervous. Maintain your control and a level of self-awareness. Speak slowly and with measured responses. Be clear and concise.
Don't be afraid of a pause in conversation or if you need to take a beat to pull together your answer. The interviewer knows that you need to process questions to give meaningful answers.
6. Be a Good Listener
Now is not the time to multitask. Be sure you are actively listening to the interviewer. You don't want to have to ask them to repeat questions multiple times.
Be attentive and engage with your interviewer. You want to show that you are taking this phone interview seriously. Follow up with insightful and reactive questions that show you were taking in what they had to say.
7. Have Questions Prepared
This is where you can really let your research shine. You should have a list of original, intuitive questions that you can ask at the end of the interview. The questions you ask should help you gain more information around the role and the company.
What are the day-to-day aspects of the role? What is the culture of the organization? What is the interviewer's favorite part of working for this company? Also be sure to ask if they have any further questions for you.
8. Follow Up
After the phone interview, you want to be sure to follow up with a note thanking them for their time and insight. Also, bring up something about your conversation that you enjoyed, something you and the interviewer connected on. Don't forget to spell check!
If you have not heard anything in one to two weeks, you should send along a follow-up note checking on where they are in the process.
Preparing for your next job interview? Download our FREE list of common interview questions today!
Acing a phone interview is easy if you remember these eight steps! We hope these tips have been helpful in your job search. Good luck out there!
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