These days, every job interview process begins with a phone interview. Let’s face it, they can be awkward. It can be hard to have a solid, smart conversation with someone over the phone who you’ve never met before and can’t see their facial expressions to know if you’re hitting it out of the park or striking out in the worst way.
Here are some great tips from our Senior IT Recruiter Mary Jane Byrd on how to have a successful phone interview that will take you to the next level.
Treat Your Phone Interview as Seriously as You Would an In-Person Interview.
Just because the person over the phone can’t see you doesn’t mean your interview isn’t as important as a face to face meeting. In fact, it might be more important because it’s the first time you are talking with the Hiring Manager and/or Recruiter so you want to make an excellent first impression. It also sends a clear message on how you will communicate with others both in the organization and out.
Do Your Research.
In today’s digital age where information is totally accessible from your smartphone, researching the job and the company you are interviewing with is an absolute must, check out the LinkedIn profile of the person who you are interviewing with and familiarize yourself with their background. You might have shared connections which can be great conversation starters. It also helps to know what your interviewer looks like because it makes your phone conversation feel more personal.
Make a Cheat Sheet.
Since your interviewer can’t see you over the phone, you have the luxury of making a cheat sheet you can keep near you. Keep a copy of your resume in front of you, jot down a few of your accomplishments, questions to ask (this is a must), talking points, shared connections, etc. Put down anything that will help you during your interview.
Stand Up, Smile and Walk Around During the Interview.
Make sure you move around when you are talking on the phone. Moving around gets your blood flowing and helps you feel active and engaged as opposed to just sitting stationary and feeling stagnant in one place.
Slow and steady wins the race when you are interviewing over the phone. Remember, you are not face to face, so the person on the other end can’t see your facial expressions when you are talking. They only hear you voice, talk slow enough so they can hear every great thing you are saying!
Try Not to Interrupt.
It’s hard not to interrupt someone over the phone when you can’t take visual cues from them. Do your best to make sure you let your interviewer finish their thoughts first before you jump in.
Have Your Computer Handy.
Keep your computer handy so you can jump on it if your interviewer talks about something you are unfamiliar with. You will be able to pull up information fast so you can quickly get up to speed with what they are talking about.
Remember Your Interview is a Two-Way Street.
You need to be impressed just as much as you need to impress the person you’re interviewing with. We get so caught up in wanting to make a good impression, we forget about our needs. It’s just as important for the interviewer to make a good impression on YOU! They need to sell you the job and the company so you want to work there.
Good Luck on Your Next Interview!