Congratulations! Landing a phone interview means you most likely have the necessary skills and requirements for the job. Your mission during a phone interview is to explain more about your skills to earn an in-person meeting — and to ultimately land the job. Companies usually conduct phone interviews because they don’t have enough resources to manage in-person interviews with every qualified applicant. It is a screening technique that saves the company time, which is why companies refer to them as “phone screens.”
Your mission during a phone interview is to earn an in-person meeting, and to ultimately land the job. Preparing is similar to that of an in-person interview, except you will want to keep these pointers in mind:
Set up in a quiet area, one that is in a controlled environment with no background noise and outside influence. Keep your area pet free, as these noises can be distracting. It is best to use a landline during your call, but if you need to use your mobile be sure the battery is charged, you have good reception, and the volume is turned up.
Dress up just as you would to an in-person interview. Dressing up and sitting in an upright position will put you in the right mindset and keep you focused. Trust us, dressing in pajamas slouched in bed or on the couch will only knock you off your focus — and translate through to your voice!
Print out your ZippyApp application and have it in front of you during your call. The interviewer will most likely ask about the details you included on your application, like your past work experience and skills. You will want to have a copy so you don’t get caught off guard or stumble on a question. It is also good to have one just in case your Internet connection crashes.
Prepare yourself by researching the company and the job description just like you would for an in-person interview. We discussed this in detail in last week’s Blog.
Check your body language. Even though the interviewer won’t be able to see you, your body language can be reflective in your enthusiasm and excitement during your call. Be sure to smile, as it will bring energy and excitement to your voice. Sit up in an upright position and stay in one place – don’t move around and pace from room-to-room.
Don’t mention pay or benefits just yet. In fact, leave that conversation time and place up to the interviewer. Even though these are important factors, you don’t want to come across like these are the only things you are interested in.
Follow up with a thank-you email to the interviewer after an hour or two. Following up so soon after is perfectly OK, since the phone interview process is shorter (you usually want to wait a day or two after an in-person meet up to follow up). If you don’t already have it, be sure to ask the interviewer for their email address before you hang up.
Be Ready for out-of-the-blue calls, a tactic some hiring managers use to see how prepared you are. Be wary when answering unfamiliar numbers, and if you do answer the call and are asked for an interview, it is OK to tell them you need to call back, which will give you time to prepare and organize yourself.
Have any phone interview etiquette tips to share? Our job seekers would love to hear from you!