An interview by phone may not seem as intimidating as one in-person, but it’s likely just as important — prospective employers often use these calls to determine which candidates are best suited for a face-to-face conversation.
Check out our list of 5 things you should do to ace your next phone interview.
Keep It Professional.
You may not always know which companies use phone interviews, so it’s best to be prepared for them as soon as you start applying. Make sure your voicemail greeting is appropriate, professional and clearly lists your full name. Answer unknown numbers with a similarly appropriate greeting stating your full name in case a company calls before sending an email.
Choose a Quiet, Distraction Free Area.
Most phone interviews are scheduled ahead of time through a phone call or email. Take advantage of this by setting time aside in your schedule to prepare and find a quiet, distraction-free spot for the interview. If you’re going to be answering the call at home, make sure to inform any roommates or family members not to disturb you until you’re finished.
Prepare Ahead of Time.
It’s easy to assume that a phone interview isn’t as important as an in-person interview, but just because you’re not meeting face-to-face doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as prepared. Research the company beforehand, have questions ready for the interviewer and deliver your responses in a professional, concise manner. Phone interviews usually determine whether or not you’ll be invited to interview on-site, so a great first impression is vital.
Talk Slowly and Clearly.
During phone interviews, your interviewer will be focused only on what you say and how you say it, so things like clarity and tone of voice are especially important. Practice answering questions with a friend before the interview so you don’t end up talking too quickly because you’re nervous. To avoid trailing off at the end of your answers, summarize each response with a simple and concise sentence.
Keep Your Résumé and Notes Nearby.
One of the advantages of a phone interview is that you’re able to look at your résumé whenever you need to. Keep it in front of you as you answer questions so you can reference any major projects you’ve worked on, or important dates that you’re asked about. You should also keep notes of other accomplishments not listed in your résumé and a copy of the job description in front of you to make sure your answers are relevant to the job.
By Priscilla Aceves