- Posted by admin
- On July 1, 2020
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The phone interview is a common precursor to the in-person interview. A short phone interview is a great screening tool for hiring managers and recruiters, as it can help narrow down your field of candidates so that you don’t have to spend time interviewing a larger pool of candidates. This means that for applicants, the phone interview is typically the barrier you have to get past to be seriously considered in a formal interview.
Phone interviews present different challenges than others. They are typically shorter, so you have less time to make an impression, it can be hard to connect well over the phone, and sometimes phone interviews are unscheduled, so you may be caught off guard. Prepare for your next phone interview with these tips so that you can move onto the next step of the hiring process.
Phone Interview Tips
- Do Prior Research
- Prepare a Stress-Free Setting
- Listen First
- Speak Slowly and Clearly
- Ask Questions
- Send a Thank You
Do Prior Research
Before any interview, you should do some research about the company you’re interviewing for, its mission, industry, history, and so on. Many interviewers ask “Tell me what you know about us,” early in an interview, so it’s good to show that you’ve done your homework. Being prepared shows that you are interested in the business and the position, and it reflects well on your work ethic in general.
Look around the company’s website, any prominent articles about the business, their LinkedIn page and other social channels to familiarize yourself with their brand and what they do. Create a cheat sheet for yourself so that you don’t forget anything important. Doing research will help you perform better and feel more confident before your interviewer calls.
Prepare a Stress-Free Setting
Pick a good setting for your phone interview. It doesn’t matter much where you choose in your home, as long as it is quiet and distraction free so that you can focus on your call. It is also important that you have good reception if you’re using a cell phone.
The pandemic has increased the number of remote, virtual interviews, and many of those tips stand for phone interviews as well. The benefit of a phone interview is that you don’t have to worry as much about what you look like or what your lighting and background looks like, so you can choose a more comfortable spot if you wish.
Make sure your setting makes it easy for your interviewer to hear you; avoid open windows or shared walls with loud neighbors, and make sure you have a clear connection. Try calling a friend from this spot so that you know you can hear well.
Aside from audio preparation, you should also make sure there are no other distractions. If you have a desk or home office, this is a good location for a phone interview. Prepare your set up in advance with your computer, a notepad, and other documents like your resume and the job description to refer back to while on the call.
Every hiring manager or recruiter conducts phone interviews differently, but usually they’ll talk first. Listen first to learn more about the company and the role, or to hear their questions for you. Take notes as they talk so that you can remember details during and after the interview.
Let them lead the interview and respond when appropriate. Avoid interrupting them as much as possible – accidental interruptions can happen over the phone, but give them the chance to speak first if you do begin to speak at the same time.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
It’s common to talk quickly when you’re nervous, which is understandable during an interview. It’s important to speak clearly and slowly in an interview, however, especially in a phone interview when the audio may not be as clear.
When the interviewer asks a question, take a deep breath and speak slowly and concisely. Have water nearby in case your mouth gets dry. Before the interview, make sure you speak to someone or do some vocal exercises if you haven’t talked yet that day so that your voice isn’t groggy.
In any interview, you may get tripped up by a question. Don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to collect your thoughts. It’s better to take a moment rather than rush in without knowing what you’re about to say, and hiring managers will appreciate a better, thought out answer. Don’t take too long a pause, but don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to compose your answer.
It’s important to ask questions in an interview to express your interest, show you’ve been paying attention, and to learn more about the company or the position itself. While phone interviews are typically shorter, you should still take advantage of the opportunity to ask a question or two. ]
Since this is a preliminary interview, you don’t need to ask a laundry list of questions, but it’s helpful to ask something if given the opportunity. Ask questions that will show them that you are interested and qualified to move onto the next round of interviews, or ask questions that will help you decide if you even want to move forward in the hiring process. You may learn in your phone interview that this position isn’t for you. Interviews are a chance for both employers and prospective employees to decide if the position is the right fit.
If you have any important questions about the business that may make or break your interest, ask in a phone interview. You can also use this opportunity to ask a question that will show off your own knowledge of the industry, company, or position. Finally, a good final question is to ask what the next steps of the hiring process will be to show that you are interested in moving forward.
Send a Thank You
It is customary to send a thank you note or email after any interview, and that applies to phone interviews as well. While sending a thank you note may not seem important, it will show that you are grateful for their time and the opportunity and is good post-interview etiquette.
Your thank you note can be sent over email, and it only has to be a few sentences. Thank your interviewer for taking the time to speak with you, and express interest in hearing back or moving forward with the company. Even if the interviewer wasn’t expecting a thank you follow up, it never hurts to go the extra mile and adds a nice personal touch to your interview.
Ace Your Next Phone Interview
Use these tips to perfect your phone interview skills. Once you’ve aced your phone interview, you can impress the hiring team in an in-person (or virtual) interview and get one step closer to securing the job.
Working with a recruiter can help you prepare even more for interviews, as recruiters know more about the position, the hiring team, and what they’re looking for. For help with your job search or with the hiring process for your business, contact TalentFleX Solutions. Our professional recruiters can guide you through the hiring process so that both candidates and clients find the right fit.