Chances are pretty good that in your job search, you will likely be asked to do a phone interview with a hiring manager or recruiter. Use these strategies to help you stand out, make the most of the opportunity, and advance to the next step of the interview/selection process.
- Research the company and your interviewer(s). Understand the company’s mission, vision, industry, services/products they provide, and about their reputation in the industry.
- Review the job description. Prepare your resume and speak to career successes and challenges and ensure that it speaks to all requirements of the position.
- Prepare 3-4 questions to ask during the phone interview.
- Be prepared to provide your strengths, as well as your weaknesses (generally, it's best to stick to topics such as company, industry and software).
- Be concise with your responses – no more than 12-15 seconds unless it is a very detailed question that requires a detailed response.
- Allow the interviewer to completely ask their question before you begin to respond. In situations where you are nervous or excited, people tend to respond too quickly.
- Control your environment. It’s important to make the call in an environment with minimal noise and where you can speak at a reasonable volume. The more controlled the space you’re calling from, the less room for distractions and other unanticipated events.
- If you conduct the phone interview from home, do it in an area where you’re free from interruptions/distractions from friends and family members.
- Do a sound and connection check before the interview to ensure you can be heard clearly.
- Turn on the "do not disturb function to avoid receiving calls/texts during the phone interview. Interruptions could cause you to miss an important question or comment.
- Budget plenty of time for the call. If the call is scheduled for 30 minutes, plan for an hour.
- Prepare all of the materials you will need for the interview and be at the location of the call at least five minutes early. Have a copy of your resume and the job description in front of you.
- Answer the phone with your name or introduce yourself as soon as the call begins.
- Smile when you speak. This will bring energy and excitement to your voice. Make sure your enthusiasm gets across by smiling as you would during an in-person interview.
- Do not read directly from your resume. It’s ok to glance to get information, but speak about your experience.
- Mute the line if you need to take a sip of water or handle a situation outside of the interview.
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