An interview is an interview, no matter how it’s conducted.
You finally landed an interview with the company of your dreams. The only catch is the interview will be done over the phone, which will likely decide if you will be asked to come in to meet the company in-person.
Phone interviews sound simple. You don’t have to put on your best business attire and you don’t even have to move from your own bedroom, but they take just as much preparation as in-person interviews.
Follow these tips to own your phone interview and succeed in the companies’ interview process.
1. Do your research
Research the company. Look at their company website — do they have a Twitter or LinkedIn page you can follow? You’ll be able to use something you may have seen online in your phone conversation. Also research typical interview questions.
It’s a good idea to have already thought about your responses to these kinds of questions so you aren’t making the interviewer wait too long for your answers.
2. Pick a quiet location
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much noise an air conditioning unit can make in the living room. I’d suggest a place with little-to-no noise at all, such as your bedroom or your silent patio.
By having a location already in mind when the interviewer calls you, you won’t be stuck running around your apartment last minute trying to kick your roommates out of the common areas.
Have someone you trust have a mock interview with you over the phone. This will give you the opportunity to practice the answers to your researched typical interview questions.
If possible, record your practice trial-runs and you will be able to see just how long that awkward pause was or how you say ‘uh’ before every response.
By having a person you can trust help you, they will offer you constructive advice on how you really sound while on the phone.
4. Take your time
Don’t think that as soon as an interviewer asks you a question, you have to dispatch the first thing that pops into your head. It’s okay to take a few seconds before each response to gather your thoughts.
The interviewer would rather you talk slower, clearer and more precise than rush to come up with an incomplete or jumbled answer. Even if you immediately know the answer, take a moment to group your thoughts together before having a word vomit that you’ll have to clean up later.
A phone interviewer will notice a change in your tone of voice and you can do this by smiling while you talk. Smiling will express positivity and confidence, even if the employer can’t see your face.
Don’t smile the entire time or you may come across as fake or insincere, but definitely smile if you are talking about your awesome summer spent volunteering or why you’re the best candidate for the job.
6. Use your sources
One of the great things about phone interviews is the employer can’t see what you are doing. You should have a copy of your resume and cover letter nearby so you can refer to it at any point during the interview.
You should also have your computer around so you can have their company website up and reference back to it when asked about how you’d be a good fit for them. Also, don’t forget about the phone’s mute button.
If you have a coughing attack, or just can’t wait to use the bathroom, use the mute button for a few seconds until you’re done–then don’t forget to un-mute yourself!
7. Follow up
Just because this wasn’t an in-person interview, doesn’t mean you should not send a formal thank-you note. The note should be short and concise, restating your interest in the position.
And remember, an interview is an interview, no matter how it’s conducted.
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