A phone interview can be a nerve-wracking event, particularly if you like talking to people face to face. You don’t have your own body language or your facial expressions to help convey what you’re saying. Nor do you have those of your interviewer to help you understand their meaning.
Nevertheless, phone interviews are a great way to get to know a role and a company. And, of course, for a hiring manager to learn a little more about you. If you have an upcoming phone interview, take a look at our six tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Thorough Preparation
A phone interview might be a step on the way towards a face to face interview, but you shouldn’t treat it like a rehearsal. Thorough preparation is essential. Research the company, what they do, what challenges they’re facing and try to work out why you’d fit in well there. Remind yourself of the job advertisement and any details you have about the interviewer. And find answers to some of the stock interview questions hiring managers usually ask. This will all help you to be more confident and concise on the phone.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Some people are naturally relaxed and confident talking on the phone. But this isn’t something that comes easily to all of us. Practice your telephone interview style with a friend. They’ll be able to recognise where you could make improvements better than you can yourself. Maybe you mumble on the phone. Or say “um” too often. Your friend can point out areas that need work so you can make changes before the phone interview comes round.
3. Use a Landline Phone
Mobile phones and their networks are increasingly reliable. But you don’t want to risk a bad line or lack of signal during your phone interview. Therefore, always choose a landline number for your interviewer to call you on. Be ready for the call and answer it yourself, rather than leaving it to a housemate or family member, who may not give the greatest first impression.
4. Take Notes
One of the benefits of a phone interview is that you can take notes throughout. As the interviewer is talking to tell you about the company and the role, make notes. You can then refer back to these notes to address particular points or ask pertinent questions. You can also keep a set of pre-written notes to hand so you don’t forget to mention some of your key achievements. Just keep any prompts short and sweet so it doesn’t sound like you’re reading a text to your interviewer.
5. Be Professional but Friendly
It’s amazing how much of your personality can come across on the phone. When taking part in a phone interview, try to dress professionally. Find a quiet place in which to conduct the call. And don’t chew gum or eat. When you feel business-like, you’re more likely to convey these characteristics over the phone. In addition, always smile as you talk. This is another thing that an interviewer will be able to hear in your voice.
6. Practice Active Listening
Active listening helps an interviewer to know that you’ve heard and understood what is being said. But it doesn’t mean interrupting your interviewer in mid-flow. Listen and be sure that the person on the other end of the phone has finished talking before you start talking yourself.
A little preparation goes a long way in creating a good impression during your phone interview. So practice your phone interview style, create the right environment and best of luck!
Meagan Weekes works at Bizset.com as a Content Manager. She enjoys sharing career tips and her broad work experience. She specializes in developing business ideas, career advancement and networking.