Phone interviews are a common tool hiring managers use to screen potential candidates prior to bringing them in for a formal face-to-face interview. While they are increasingly part of the standard hiring process, a phone interview is not necessarily something all applicants are confident in their abilities to deliver on. Here are a few simple tips to make sure your are bringing your A-game on your next phone interview.
A phone interview is similar to an in-person interview in that you really need to know your stuff inside and out in order to present yourself well. Doing your homework means reviewing your resume and the job description ahead of time, so you know exactly how your skills and experience translate to provide value for the new position. If you let yourself be caught off guard by a phone call of this nature, you likely won’t come across as professional or engaged and interested in the position as you would like.
Doing your homework also means doing a little extra research into the company you are applying to join. Boning up on their recent projects, their blog, and their news releases will help you get a better understanding of the business and the corporate culture, and therefore better prepare you to describe how well you would fit in. Be sure to prepare questions for your interviewer, as well. One key sign of an interview gone well (in person or by phone) is an established rapport and some quality discussion.
Ask the Right Questions
Phone interviews are as much an opportunity for you to screen a prospective employer as much as it is for them to evaluate you as an employee. Take the time to listen to the information that the interviewer provides about the job and the company. Ask good questions and really listen to the answers. Internalizing information and then circling around to discuss a topic mentioned earlier on in the call is a nice way to show an interviewer that you are interested and invested in the job, and are eager to learn more about it. Asking the right questions also shows that you care about finding the right opportunity, not just anything that will bring in a paycheck.
Prepare Your Environment
In today’s day and age, you may find yourself taking a phone call in the most unusual of places. But if you are preparing for a phone interview, make sure you set yourself up for success by making sure you have a professional-sounding voicemail message, have a reliable phone connection, answer the phone yourself, and take the call in a quiet location. Also, remember to smile when you talk. The person on the other end of the line won’t be able to see it, but they can certainly hear the difference, making you sound more personal and pleasant throughout the interview.
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