Congratulations! You landed a phone interview! Whether you applied for a job through a company page, a job service like Indeed, or a staffing and recruiting agency like CAREERXCHANGE, you are moving ahead in the process of landing the job you want. But in order to keep that path to success going, you want to rock the phone interview and make it a great one.
A great phone interview requires skill, charisma, and creativity, and can help any potential candidate get their foot in the door. While speaking skills are essential, a candidate must be able to present their answers in a coherent, free-flowing manner that specifically illustrates their own level of expertise. Phone calls with employers are crucial for making a first impression, as it helps an employer understand the candidate’s ability to communicate their experience and knowledge clearly. Employers realize that a phone interview isn’t everything; however, by incorporating these few tips, a phone interview may be transformed into a great first step toward a wonderful and fulfilling career.
Here are just a few phone interview tips you can use:
Have a Hard Copy of All Relevant Documents.
Print out a hard copy of your resume, the job description, and even pertinent documents related to the company. If a question comes up in relation to experience, having a physical copy of your resume for quick access can be helpful for easing the tension of having to remember past work experience. Computer documents can be helpful; yet, computers aren’t 100% reliable compared with hard copy, as computers can crash or run haywire without notice.
Know the Company.
Before any interview, even a phone interview, it is always best to do some research on the company to get a thorough understanding of their practices, various levels of departments, and overall goals. Having knowledge of the company beforehand will come across as being prepared and interested in the company, two characteristics that increase your chances of generating interest with the hiring manager. Search through their website, get a feel of their tone from their social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), and follow the company on LinkedIn.
Connect With the Interviewer.
If you know who is interviewing you before your call, connect with them. Learn what they do with the company you’re applying to and how you might be working together. Look at their LinkedIn profile and connect with them. Showing you are making an effort to establish a connection goes a long way in the interviewer’s eyes.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Before the interview, especially a Skype or webcam interview, practice greeting and speaking to the hiring manager in front of the mirror. Practice smiling and try to achieve a relaxed, attentive look. Study yourself and how you would answer common interview questions without stumbling or sounding unconfident.
Don’t Get Dehydrated.
During the interview, make sure there is a glass of water close by in case your mouth goes dry. After all, interviews take time and a lot of spoken words. To avoid getting stuck, always have something that can be quietly sipped during the process.
Companies that do phone interviews are also using Skype as a better method for gauging the overall “feel” of the candidate. Skype interviews provide a personal touch that blends traditional face-to-face interviews with phone interviews. Dressing professionally for webcam interviews is a must for coming across professionally. Even if it isn’t a webcam interview, dressing professionally for a phone interview may help transition your mindset into a more professional tone. Additionally, you should present yourself in a clean environment. Make sure the room is clean and professional looking, as this will reflect a sense of organization and cleanliness.
Once the phone rings, you should answer with a polite greeting followed by your name. This way, an interview can begin without the unpleasant awkwardness that can often occur in phone calls between strangers. Making a strong first impression will be helpful for carrying an interview through until the end. Also, don’t be afraid to have questions ready for the interviewer. Having questions about the position, even open-ended ones, doesn’t indicate aggressiveness; it does, however, show a great sense of interest and excitement about the position.
Employers need to hear that a candidate is expressive and excited about a position, and what better way than to smile during the interview? While hiring managers obviously do not see a candidate smiling while conducting a phone interview, the physical act of smiling does show in one’s voice clearly. Smiling also encourages a more positive, connecting mood which uplifts the atmosphere of the entire experience.
Practice these phone interview tips a few times so they flow naturally during the meeting. You should refrain from stressing out over a phone interview, knowing that if you are qualified, your experience and expertise will surely shine through. Also, employers don’t put all the emphasis on phone interviews and will almost always require a balance between an interview in person and the preliminary interview conducted over the phone.
At CAREERXCHANGE, we are here to help employees and job seekers guide their way toward building a successful career. Contact us today to learn more about the roles we play in helping candidates build their talent, visibility, and career success.