Many companies now use telephone interviews to pre-screen job applicants. Perhaps you have been scheduled for a few phone interviews already and are thinking about how to leave a good impression. In fact, there is no need to stress over phone interviews. These tips will help you overcome that fear and make you stand out.
1. do your research
Spend some time acquiring information about the job and the company prior to the phone interview. The company website is a good first place to start but LinkedIn and other social media networks are quickly becoming the primary source for research. On LinkedIn you can visit a company’s page and also see if you are connected to anyone who works there. If they have one, a company’s Facebook page may give you a better understanding of its corporate culture. Take note of anything you find interesting including new product launches, company press releases or industry news; there may be an opportunity to impress the interviewer with your insights.
2. find a proper space
Unlike in-person interviews, you don’t get to observe body language or other visible clues. Instead, phone interviews rely completely on your ability to listen and interpret the conversation and message exchanged. Therefore, finding a quiet space where you feel at ease is very crucial to a successful phone interview.
3. be well-equipped
Remember to bring all the necessary tools, including:
- your phone: Since the interview will be conducted over the phone, make sure your phone is fully charged and has good reception so your interview won’t be cut off.
- a pen and a notepad: During the phone interview, take note of key information such as special requirements, or time and date of an in-person interview. Also, write down questions you would like to ask.
- professional attire: Similar to role-playing, dressing up will make it easier for you to feel confident and professional during the phone interview.
- a mirror: This is a small tip that most people aren’t aware of: having a mirror by your side will help you remember to smile. Believe it or not, your smile can actually be heard.
4. answer in a professional manner
Phone interviews are not any less formal than in-person interviews; therefore, use appropriate expressions and avoid slangs in the conversation to show your sincerity. Pay attention to the questions and wait until the interviewer finishes talking before you respond. To ensure effective communication, pace your speech well and pronounce your words clearly.
5. link your transferable skills
When answering questions, you should try linking your skills to job requirements with specific examples and details. For example, if the company is looking for a problem solver, describe a situation where you needed to solve a problem, followed by what action you took, then what result you achieved.
Simply remember this formula: Situation + Action = Result.
6. thank the interviewer
At the end of the call, sincerely thank the interviewer for taking time to consider your qualifications.
7. practice makes perfect
If you always find phone interviews dreadful, ask your friends or family to help you practice by calling you and asking you potential interview questions. Learn from each experience and make improvements for the next one. The more you practice, the more confidence you will gain.