Typically lasting between 10 to 15 minutes and consisting of some rather basic background questions, a phone interview can be pretty easy to dismiss as a formality.
However, for hiring managers and recruiters, a phone interview is an essential part of their process. These folks do not want to bring in somebody who isn’t taking the job opportunity seriously or who might be a very poor fit for the open position.
It is crucial to take every phone interview seriously. This doesn’t mean every phone interview has to end with the other person inviting you in for a face-to-face meeting. Your goal is to come across as competent and professional. You should also hang up the phone with a better understanding of the opportunity and the company, as well as a good idea if you could succeed in the position.
With this in mind, consider the following tips for making sure your next phone interview, and the ones after it, are highly successful.
1. Do Your Homework
Hopefully, you’ve done a bit of homework on the job, the company and industry before sending in your resume. If you haven’t, it is absolutely crucial that you do before taking a phone interview. Your phone interview preparation should include putting together a list of key points on the company, writing out some questions for your interviewer, printing out a copy of your resume, and looking up your interviewer on various social media platforms, especially on LinkedIn.
2. Set Up for Success
The recruiter or hiring manager who’s calling you should give you a tight window of time when you should expect a call. Before that window, make sure you have all of your essential materials. These can include a laptop, a copy of your resume, your phone, chargers for your electronics, a good Wi-Fi connection, and a glass of water. It’s also important to find a location where you can take the call that is free of background noise.
3. Speak Clearly and Project Pleasant Professionalism
Every interview includes a degree of performance, and the phone interview is no exception. This is typically the first chance you have to make a personal impression on a potential employer, so it’s critical to appear competent, professional, and enthusiastic.
One good trick is to smile while you talk, as it makes you sound pleasant. Also, be sure to speak slowly and avoid interrupting your interviewer. Since this person doesn’t know you, the best approach is to be as pleasant and professional as possible.
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