Have you ever nervously sat beside the phone, waiting for a job interviewer to give you a call? If so, you are not alone – many job seekers have had numerous phone interviews. These types of interviews are common and are used to screen a job candidate before an in-person meeting takes place.
A phone interview can be intimidating, but it can also be successful. With the right tips, any job seeker can make a great impression on his or her interviewer.
Tips for Nailing a Phone Interview
- Prepare – If you truly want to feel confident before and during your phone interview, you must prepare for it. The more prepared for the interview you are, the more calm you will feel during the interview. CPG Talent Acquisitions’ Robert Richards says, “Luck favors the prepared. Study the company…study the job…study the managers.” He encourages you to first comb a company’s LinkedIn page, news releases and website. Next, when you are ready to study the job, “Print out your resume and the job description, set them side by side and look for the match. Get ready to sell yourself for the job,” says Richards. Last, check out the managers’ LinkedIn profiles. Make sure you know who’s who and what’s what several days before your interview takes place.
- Cover your bases – There would be nothing more embarrassing than blowing a phone interview by sounding unprofessional. Crying children, barking dogs, noisy traffic, and a loud television are all sounds that should not be heard by your interviewer. To ensure a quiet background, ask your spouse to take the kids (and the pets) outside during your interview, or barricade yourself in a room far away from disturbances. Also, make sure you have your interviewer’s phone number; you will need it if your call is dropped. Last, don’t forget to find out well before your phone interview who is calling whom – you or your interviewer. Having these bases covered will make you feel prepared and ready to bring your best self to your interview.
- Dress nicely – The best thing about a phone interview is that it allows you to stay in your pajamas. Right? No, nothing could be more wrong! Despite the fact that your interviewer will not physically see you, you should still dress like he or she will. Dressing nicely for your phone interview will increase your self-confidence, and that is well worth the small effort it takes to put your best face forward.
- Follow up – Just as you would with an in-person interview, you’ll definitely want to follow up via email after a phone interview. In the message subject line, put your name/position applied for; this will encourage the interviewer to open your email. Judith Stocks of Forbes advises, “If you want this job, now (during the follow-up email) is the time to restate your interest. And, if you really want to appear smarter than most, include a link to an interesting news article about the company that you already found during your preparation research.”
Do you have a phone interview coming up? If so, remain calm, cool and collected, and prepare until you feel ready to answer any questions that might be asked of you. You are going to do great!
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