Just in case you have a phone interview coming up, I have a few tips that will help you to be as prepared as possible.
Almost all first interviews are over the phone or done virtually to save time –your time and theirs.
Here are 11 quick tips to help get you prepared for phone interviews.
- Be enthusiastic: Some people find it helps to smile while they talk because even though your interviewer can’t see you, she can hear you smile. And when she hears you, you’ll sound more upbeat and happy.
- Have a list of questions prepared: Well-thought-out questions show you’re really interested in the company and the job. Have your resume in front of you and make sure it’s the same version the interviewer has.
- Never interrupt: Silently count two or three seconds after the interviewer stops talking before you start.
- Ask about the next steps: At the end of the call, ask how well your qualifications meet the company’s needs. This will give you a chance to address minor concerns immediately. Then ask when you can meet with them in person.
- Say thanks: Follow up with an e-mail that thanks them for the interview and briefly remind the interviewer how your skills and achievements can help the company meet its goals.
- Eat a cough drop before the call: A medicated cough drop, especially one with menthol will be good for your voice. It’s a small but helpful thing.
- Avoid saying “um” or “ah”: Try replacing those sounds with a pause, which is a sign of intelligence.
- Take notes: Jot down topics and questions that seem to be of particular interest to the person interviewing you so you can touch on these when you send your thank-you note.
- Even if you don’t want the job, proceed as if you did just to hear them out and to increase your comfort zone with interviewing.
- If it’s a virtual interview with cameras, make sure the background in your room is clean. But if you decide to use one of those automatic backgrounds in Skype, you should test it out first with a friend, because I’ve seen them do some weird things where it looks like you have no arms.
And lastly, you will need to be prepared for interview questions because they are going to ask you all sorts of tricky phone interview questions.
The most common questions they like to ask on a phone interview are, “What are you looking for in a job?” or “What are you looking for in a new job that you don’t have in your current one?”
Both of those questions always catch candidates off guard.