4 tips to dial up a successful phone interview

  • interviews
  • September 12, 2016
Phone interviews can be great way to make a positive impression if you have the right approach. A lot of companies conduct phone interviews during their first round of screening a large number of candidates. They are easy to schedule and can be done quickly and efficiently.
This tried and true medium can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you approach it. Historically, a phone interview will be used to answer a couple of general questions to see if you fit the profile beyond your resume. Your goal with a phone interview is to leave the HR representative wanting to schedule another interview for you with the hiring manager. 

Here are four things to remember if you want to have a successful phone interview.

Prep like you would if you were meeting in person 

You don’t want your interviewer to hear you rifling through papers or pausing while you furiously Google the answer to a question you don’t know. The beauty of a phone interview is that you can have all your prep work in front of you. If you have it on your laptop, pull up your resume and any other background information that you have on the company and position for which you’re interviewing. List any key points you’d like to discuss and reference them when your interviewer asks if you have any questions. Make sure to check off any questions that are answered during the interview process so you don’t inadvertently ask again. 

Dress like it’s a face to face interview 

Answering business questions requires business attire. Don’t answer questions while lounging on the couch in your T-shirt and jeans. Dress in what makes you feel most powerful and confident and stand to project your voice. Answer the questions clearly and concisely. The last thing you want is the interviewer saying that he or she can’t hear you and ask you to repeat yourself.  Smile while you’re speaking and try to keep your tone as conversational as possible. And with any good conversation … make sure you listen

Your phone is your gateway to the next level of interviews

You’ll want to test the location of the interview to make sure the cell signal is strong and your voice is loud and clear. Unless your phone has a superb speakerphone, do not use it. Turn all your notifications OFF and set other incoming calls to go straight to voicemail. You definitely don’t want your phone pinging through the whole interview every time you receive a text message or email. And speaking of voicemail, make sure that you have a professional message recorded. It’ll be hard to be taken as a serious candidate if you have some silly, inappropriate voicemail greeting.  

Control the setting 

Find a quiet room. Do not conduct a phone interview while you’re driving or away from the interview setting you’ve set up to eliminate distractions. If the interviewer calls unannounced, ask if you may reschedule so you have time to prepare and give your undivided attention. Trust us, that person will appreciate you not wasting his or her time. 

Good luck!

A well thought out phone interview plan can put you one step closer to getting your desired position. Keep it simple. Enunciate, listen and answer all questions clearly. Just remember, when the phone rings, take a deep breath and answer with, “Hello [interviewer], this is [your name] I’ve been looking forward to your call”. 

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