Many job seekers dislike phone interviews because the barrier between interviewer and interviewee can lead to talking over one another, misreading signals, and having less opportunity to gauge personality.
Employers, though, see many benefits in conducting phone interviews. A key advantage is that they can quickly screen candidates before spending the time to talk in-person. As an interviewee, how can you overcome the perceived downsides of a phone interview?
To impress your future employer during the phone interview and consequently earn an in-person interview, follow these ten tips.
1. RESEARCH THE COMPANY
You may think that you don’t need to research the company until you are at the in-person interview. However, a phone interview is a chance to impress the employer, and having a solid understanding of the company is important to make the right impression early on. Avoid common interview mistakes and spend time on research. There are a variety of places you should look to achieve a thorough understanding of the company’s latest business ventures, culture, strengths, and opportunities, such as:
- Company website
- Social media
- Reputable business outlets, such as Forbes and industry-specific publications
- YouTube channel
- Competitor’s websites
Also, keep in mind what your role might look like in the company, and consider the ways you would make a positive difference. The interviewer will be able to tell that you’ve put thought into how your experiences can grow the firm.
2. RESEARCH YOUR INTERVIEWER
If you know the name of your interviewer ahead of time, you can look them up on company profiles and social media. If you don’t know, it’s not uncommon to ask before the call with whom you’ll be interviewing.
Researching the interviewer allows you to get a glimpse into their work and experiences—knowledge that allows you relate to them where you can. Additionally, keep track of the names of people you speak with. It may come up in later conversation, and the fact that you will have remembered names is impressive.
3. DRESS LIKE IT’S IN-PERSON
You may be thinking that you’d rather be comfortable for the phone interview, but dressing as though it’s in-person adds a level of seriousness that can help you be mentally prepared. In the off chance that your interviewer wants to switch to an online video call at the last minute, you’ll be ready.
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
Before the call, find a location that you’re sure has good reception and low noise. It helps to choose a spot where you’ve made calls previously. Once you’re there, don’t wander; your movement may disrupt the call. Finally, don’t schedule your call for a commute. Driving is too much of a distraction for you to commit yourself to the call.
5. SPEAK CLEARLY
As with all interviews, try to speak clearly. Because phone calls are always less clear than in-person conversation, clarity is especially vital. Avoid filler words such as “um” or “uh,” as they indicate a lack of preparedness.
6. ASK SMART QUESTIONS
Write out questions before your interview so that you’ll have them ready for the end of the call. It is beneficial to make this list when you’re researching the company and the interviewer. The questions don’t have to be all about the position; asking out-of-the-box questions can portray that you’re inquisitive and interested.
7. KEEP WATER HANDY
Fill a glass of water before the interview in case your mouth becomes dry (a common side effect of anxiety or nervousness). It can also be helpful if you have a cough while on call.
8. HAVE YOUR RESUME AVAILABLE
Keep a copy of your resume in front of you during the call. Your interviewer likely has one as well, and they may ask specific questions about it. Reading your own copy will ensure the interviewer won’t catch you off guard with your own content—especially if you’ve distributed multiple versions of your resume to different companies.
9. HAVE THE JOB DESCRIPTION AVAILABLE
Have the job description up and available during the call as well. Similarly to your resume, the interviewer will likely reference it during the call. Make sure you can speak to how your experiences prepared you for each point of the description. Additionally, asking specific questions about the job description shows that you’re interested in the position.
Take a deep breath and have fun with the interview. Most companies are looking for someone who fits in well, alongside having the right qualifications. If your interviewer remembers you for being light and personable in the call, you’ll stand out from those that can’t convey such aspects over the phone.
YOUR NEXT POSITION COULD BE AVAILABLE.
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