In one of our May blog posts, we discussed basic tips for interviews.
Before you even sit down with a hiring manger, though, many companies will screen you by way of a phone interview. Naturally, some strategies you would have employed in a sit-down interview go out the window, while a set of new factors come into play.
So, what should you do to ensure that you ace your phone interview? Here are some tips:
Phone interviews are unique in the sense that you are in the comfort of your own home. This allows you to have material nearby that you otherwise wouldn’t have in a conventional sit-down interview. Make sure you have a copy of your resume readily accessible, and don’t be afraid to scribble down some reminders on a notepad – maybe a skill or experience you want to be sure to highlight or a list of questions you have. Don’t forget the basics, either, like the name of the person conducting the interview. While this might seem obvious, you would probably be shocked at the number of people who either blank on this or neglect to do basic research. Remember, you are in the comfort of your own home, so there is no reason to not have this information at hand.
You could argue that this goes back to preparation, but it is important enough to merit its own section. Unlike a conventional sit-down interview where distractions aren’t really a concern (just be sure to turn your phone off), phone interviews require that the interviewee locate a quiet, distraction-free environment. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted, but remember to make sure you get good cell service in that area. It is also a good idea to turn off call waiting for the duration of the interview.
Keep your answers short but impactful
It may seem like a good idea to provide long-winded answers during a phone interview, but it really isn’t. This doesn’t mean you have to be short with the interviewer, but it does mean you should avoid directionless rambling. It is still possible to engage the interviewer while keeping your answers concise. Also, remember to listen and ask questions. This kind of thoughtful disposition will help you make a good impression by showing that you have genuine interest in the position.
When it comes down to it, an interview is an interview. As the job applicant, your goal doesn’t change based on the format. A phone interview certainly presents a different set of circumstances that require some general tweaks in your overall approach; however, in the end you just have to trust yourself and the work you have put into the process. Give it your best shot – anything past that is out of your control.