Phone interviews are used more commonly by companies as a precursory step to determine which candidates should be invited for an in-office interview. Phone interviews save companies and candidates time and money that is typically spent on in-person interviews. Here are a few tips to help job candidates navigate and master a telephone interview:
- Introduce Yourself: Give a brief introduction of yourself, background and accomplishments. This process should only take one minute and then, progress to small talk if the interviewer allows it. Some interviewers may plunge right to questions. If so, follow the interviewers lead.
- Speak Clearly. Speak clearly into the receiver and enunciate each syllable to help the interviewer understand your words. Your voice should sound optimistic, upbeat and eager to learn about the position.
- Have Your Resume Ready for Reference. Most interviewees know their background and skills, but it is easy to get nervous during an interview. Have the resume ready for reference if the interviewer asks specific information regarding the information on the resume.
- Keep Background Noise at a Minimum. Try to interview in a quiet place where there will be no interruptions. Do not shuffle papers in the background. Interrupting children, dogs or other external noises are a distraction and can affect how an applicant answers.
- Prepare for the Phone Interview. Most people like to inform the candidate in advance that there will be a phone interview. Prepare for the phone interview in the same way that you would prepare for an in-person interview. Practice answering questions in front of a mirror or for a family or friend. If the answers have been rehearsed, they will sound more natural, and there will be less anxiety when answered over the phone. Research the company and find out as much information as you can about the job prior the interview. During the interview, use language similar to the language found on the website. This is preferred by most interviewers.
- Take Notes. Have a pen or pencil ready to take notes. Interviewers may often begin the phone conversation informing the candidate about the position or the company. This will be a time to listen actively and take notes. Other information may also be provided. Take notes as needed and take action later if required.
- Ask Questions When Prompted. Think of some questions to ask that will demonstrate your knowledge of the company, product or service. The questions should demonstrate genuine interest and show a desire of commitment to the organization. When finished with the interview, ask about the next steps in the process. If you did not interview with the hiring manager, ask when you will meet he or she to discuss qualifications. Determine when the entire interviewing process will be over and when the candidate will be selected. This will alleviate your fears if you are aware of the timeline involved in the hiring process.
- Send a Thank You Note. Send a note thanking your interviewer for taking the time to interview you and giving you the opportunity to learn more about the company. This helps the interviewer remember your interview and shows your genuine interest in the company.
Telephone interviews can be easy if you follow these simple steps. Be prepared and enthusiastic. With these tips, you should perform well on your next telephone interview.