How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Person-to-person interviews aren’t always the go-to method for finding talent these days. To help weed out candidates, many companies employbattery-dead-cell-phone phone interviews to get to know individuals and their skills. Then after such calls, viable candidates are brought in for a face-to-face interview.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes phone interviews as seriously as they should. They mistakenly believe that they don’t need to prepare as much for these sorts of interviews. They couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Treat it like a Regular Interview
Remember that a smooth phone interview will allow you to move onto the next step in the hiring process. You want to do as well as you can and impress the individual or team on the other end of the line. Read on for helpful tips for smooth phone interview sailing.

Location, Location, Location
A whole bunch of things can go wrong during your interview (sorry…for bursting your bubble). Think dead zone, dead battery, and more. But don’t fret! Using a landline for your interview call dropped calls as can checking and double checking your phone is charged – then checking once more and having back up power just in case.
Another benefit to a landline is the presence of feedback while talking and less background noise seeping in if you are taking the call outside or in a busy place. The obvious benefit to less background noise is, of course, your interviewer has a better chance of hearing all of your awesome answers to all of their questions.

Ready, Set Breathe
Interviews are nerve wracking. Make sure you give yourself plenty of “get ready” time to breathe deeply and focus your mind. Make sure you have all of your notes in front of you for easy reference (e.g. resume, job description, company notes, etc.).

You might be tempted to try and do some multitasking while you are on the phone. Try not to. Because it will just distract you from your task at hand, namely your interview. Also, clickety, clackety, click, interviewees who type while on the call might not be such hot prospects for the company. How will they know you were doing something else? Sound travels amazingly well through phones.

Act Like you are Doing the Interview in Person
To piggyback off the remove distractions from yourself during the interview, trying imagining that the interviewer is actually there with you instead of over the phone. This might mean dressing up (rather than wearing no pants or your jammies). It is all a mental game. If you feel physically ready, you will be more likely to feel emotionally ready.

Don’t Forget Emily Post
When you are talking to the interviewer, make sure you provide clear answers and try not to mumble. Thank them for the opportunity. Exchange pleasantries. Also, don’t forget to listen. This can be just as important as talking. Let the interviewer have his or her time, as you will get yours. Also, don’t be afraid to wait a few seconds after a question is asked. The interviewer will appreciate that you are actually thinking about your answer rather than just returning canned answer after answer.

End on a High Note
Do remember to send a thank you note to the interviewer. This oh so overlooked practice will definitely make you stand out. This note can be in the form of a handwritten note or through email. Don’t rehash your qualifications in this note though. Use it as an authentic chance to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and to remind him or her of how much you are interested in the position.

Ready to Test Our Your Interview Skills?
Now that you know the secret to making a great impression during your interview, apply for one of our many talent offerings available through Creative Talent Management. Your next opportunity is closer than you think. We are your source for expert talent managers. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

One thought on “How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

  1. Great suggestions. Too often, interviewees loosen up too much because a phone interview doesn’t really seem as important as a regular sit down interview. I appreciate these tips. I will definitely think twice about not taking my next phone interview seriously enough. Thanks!

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