Phone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for an interview. You never know when a recruiter might call and ask if you have a few minutes to talk. Here are some tips to prepare yourself and sound your best over the phone. Also look up our previous blog on the importance of phone calls.
For more information watch this video on About.com: http://bit.ly/17Y961
Be Prepared to Interview
Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical phone interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills.
- Keep your resume in clear view, on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall near the phone, so it’s at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
- Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review.
- Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
- Turn call-waiting off so your call isn’t interrupted.
- If the time isn’t convenient, ask if you could talk at another time and suggest some alternatives.
- Ensure your kids or pets (if any) are not in the room and turn off the stereo and TV.
- Unless you’re sure your mobile phone service is perfect, consider using a landline rather than your mobile to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.
Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. I’ve always found it’s helpful to practice. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview and record it so you can see how you sound over the phone. You’ll be able to hear your “ums” and “uhs” and and you can practice reducing them from your conversational speech. Also rehearse answers to those typical questions you’ll be asked.
During the Phone Interview
- Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
- Smile – Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
- Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
- Take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
- Give short answers.
- Remember your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person.
After the Interview:
- Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered.
- Remember to say “thank you.” Follow with a thank you note which reiterates your interest in the job.
Thanks to About.com for all this information!