Posted by Brittany Jones on June 29, 2017
According to recent data, people in the United States spend five hours each day on their mobile phones, with increased screen time in younger demographics. We text, Facebook message and Snapchat all day, but guess what we don’t do much of on our phones? Talk. The decline of using phones for their original purpose has created awkwardness when conversing on the phone. We don’t like to do it, and will avoid it at all costs. Considering that most hiring processes begin with a phone screen, this is a problem for job candidates. Here are some tips to help you shake it off and knock your next phone interview out of the park.
Preparation is Key
This conversation is an employer’s first impression of you, so you want to present your best self. It’s critical that you be prepared.
Do your homework on the employer and on the job description. Give their website a thorough look to get as much information about the company and the opening as you can. Then, make a list of questions to ask the interviewer. In addition to gathering information, this will show them that you have a genuine interest in joining their team.
Choose Your Environment
You can participate in a phone interview from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean that you should. You need to be in a quiet place where you can hear and be heard without distractions. It’s crucial that you be able to focus both on what the interviewer is saying and on providing the best answers.
Consider using a landline, if possible, as they provide better sound quality and a reduced chance of getting disconnected. When using a cell phone for an interview, ensure that you’ll get proper signal where you’ll be sitting.
Also, verify that the interviewer has the correct contact information for you, and vice versa. That way, if you do get disconnected, you can easily get reconnected. It’s also important to double-check whether you will be making or receiving the call and at what time. Send an email to confirm the information at least one day prior to the interview.
Pretend You’re There
If you’re in front of the person interviewing you, you’ll be nodding as he or she speaks to you. You’ll likely also smile as you respond to questions. Do both of these things on the phone, too. It sounds ridiculous, but it works. The interviewer will actually be able to hear you smiling in your tone, which will help you come across as more excited about the opportunity.
Mind Your Manners
This should go without saying, but be polite. Don’t zone out when the interviewer explains something. Take notes to stay engaged. Also, don’t dominate the conversation. Even though the point of the call is for the company to get to know you and your experience, you shouldn’t be the only one talking. Give your answer, then take a breath and wait for the response. Sprinkle in your own questions. The most successful interviews are often ones that remain conversational.
If you’re still interested in the job at the end of the call, be sure to convey that. Let them know how much you enjoyed the experience and ask about the next steps in the process. This will show your interest in the role and give you expectations of when you should hear back from them. Within a day, send a quick follow-up email to the employer thanking them for their time, and reiterate again your interest in joining their team.
The goal of a phone interview is to get invited for an in-person meeting. These tips should help you get to that next step. For more guidance, check out our website and connect with a recruiter today!