Talking on the phone isn’t as easy as it seems. I’ve always found it’s helpful to practice. Rehearse answers to those typical questions you’ll be asked. You will be asked about your technical knowledge and how you used it.
- During the Phone Interview:
- Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
- Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.
- Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
- Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
- Sound Excited!
- Use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
- Take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
- Check in with the interviewer. It’s ok to say “Did that answer your question?”
- 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 or what is the next step?
- After the Interview:
- Take notes about what you were asked and how you answered.
- Remember to say “thank you.”
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 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, 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.
- Clear the room – evict the kids and the pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door.
- Unless you’re sure your cell phone service is going to be perfect, consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid a dropped call or static on the line.
If you have advance notice, research should always be your first step. Gathering background information on employers is a crucial element in successful interview preparation. You will need to be prepared to answer the questions “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to work here?” Knowing as much as possible about the company’s past performance and future plans can make your interview more interactive and could be just the leg up you need in a competitive job market. Before the interview review the company’s web site and don’t be afraid to contact your prospective employer to request details on the position you are interviewing for or to ask for company literature. Google the company to see what other information is available online.