Are you looking to nail that phone interview? Continue reading.
Interviewing can be difficult.
It is possible to make the interview even more difficult by having it done over the phone. You can respond in person to the interviewer’s physical cues. But on the phone, you are often left guessing if they’re interested in your words or just checking their email while you go on.
Many applications begin with a telephone interview.
I hated phone interviews. Until I discovered a few simple tricks that made this awkward conversation turn into a job offer or a follow-up, face-to-face interview.
What’s the purpose of a telephone interview?
Interviewers want to hear a succinct version of your story and why it’s important that you are a good fit for the job. This is your first step in the interview process. It serves as a screening interview that narrows down the candidates.
How to prepare for a telephone interview
It may seem like your phone is just loud enough to hear you over Friends while you think about changing out of your pajamas and getting new ones. You should treat this job as seriously as any other in-person interview if you want it. These are our top tips for phone interviews.
1. Be prepared for anything
Do not be a list-maker if you are compulsive. This is your chance to shine! Make a list of everything you will need for your interview slot.
- Your phone – Keep the charger close at hand and ensure that your phone is fully charged.
- You need a quiet space – There should be no bustling coffee shops, or the smell of your kitchen when everyone is at home. You should choose a space that is quiet and allows you to concentrate on the interview. This is important for professionalism. It can make interviewers feel that you don’t have enough priorities and are too chaotic to find a quiet place.
- Notepad and pen. You may want to ask questions or build rapport with the interviewer. You can keep these notes for a follow-up or, even better, to give feedback after you have been granted an in-person interview.
- Your notes– Having your notes handy is a lot like having to take an open book exam. Notes are not an award. A phone interview will be easier because you’ll know what to do, so there won’t be any pressure.
2. Get ready
Having business at the top and partying at the bottom may help save face in video interviews but it will not improve your confidence. Do your hair and makeup, then get ready for the interview. Get out of your PJs and put on some shoes. You never know, it might be a video-screen interview.
3. Prepare your responses
Your level of preparation will play a big part in what you say during an interview. You can find out what topics are being discussed during an interview by asking recruiters questions.
- Find out more about the company. Use resources like Linkedin, Glassdoor, and Indeed to find potential employers. This will give you a sense of the company’s structure and also help you see the potential growth opportunities in your field. It is also important to determine if there are any gaps you can fill.
- You can search for the interviewer if the name of the interviewer is given. This will allow you to quickly find where they are within the organization’s structure. This will give you an indication of whether the interview is being conducted either by HR or your next-level manager. This will give you an idea about their personality and interests. You don’t want creepy vibes, so keep this information to yourself.
- Prepare your story toolbox: Interviews follow the same scripts because interviewers only want to know one thing. That is, why are you the best choice for the job. You can use your story toolbox to answer more difficult questions like “Tell me about myself” or “What makes this job appealing to you?” If you prepare stories that correspond to that line of questioning you will be prepared with an answer that they are looking for and won’t waste their time.
4. Find out what you want from an interview
Make notes about your expectations and company before you answer the interview phone.
- Write down your salary expectations.
- Learn the job title, responsibilities, and roles of the actual job, as well as where the salary band lands (are you close to a salary cap?) ).
- Ask about the person you will report to and how big the team is.
- Learn if you will need to commute and if remote work is possible.
These are just some examples of questions that you might be able to ask. It is important to know what you expect from your new job and whether the change is worth it.
Practice for your interview by phone
Did you think that you could get out of this situation without practice? You can practice and plan your interview, making adjustments as you go. Here’s what to do.
You will call a friend
Prepare your friend by giving him a list of interview questions. Then press “GO!” to record the conversation. It’s amazing how many odd quirks you may have, such as constantly clearing your throat and saying “um” every single time.
Use the mirror
Although it may sound odd, we trust you. You can immediately make subtle changes to your scripts by mirroring them. These little steps will help boost your confidence. Do it!
You can practice with a friend, or by yourself. Take notes about what you see and how you respond to the questions. These notes should be reviewed again before your interview by telephone.
Don’t think of the interview as something scary or unpleasant. Instead, get positive thoughts about it. You can tell yourself this interview is going to be fun, even if it requires you to be professional and alert. You can do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated and the enthusiasm and energy you have will carry you through the interview.
Practice small talk
If you’re a straight-to-the-point kind of person, this might be a tough one to swallow. Although small talk may seem unnecessary and juvenile, it is a necessary part of the process. This allows you to establish rapport with the interviewer, and it gives you the chance to relax before you start bombarding the other party by telling stories about your greatness.
During the interview
This is your chance to get in the ring.
Professionalism is key
You can apply for any job, even if it’s a position as a children’s entertainment manager on a cruise line. However, you will need to be professional. While you can discuss the fun elements, it is important to keep the conversation on the topic and answer questions as concisely as possible.
Do not ramble
Although it’s tempting to pull out all the stories in your story toolbox and go with the flow, there’s a good chance you’ll end up boring the interviewer and miss the question. Answer the question with a concise, but an informative response.
Although it’s instinctual to want to protect your vitals and keep your head down, this doesn’t translate well into the interview. Standing up increases blood flow, which can provide an energy boost. As the questions come in, this allows you to think on one’s feet. Standing boosts confidence and is a great way to get an extra boost.
Pay attention to your breathing
Breathe. Be calm and steady. You can also improve circulation by maintaining steady breathing. The OG of questions is “So tell us about yourself.” If your breathing becomes erratic, your body will try to protect the organs. This could lead to feeling disoriented and dizzy. This is normal for interview situations. You don’t need to be racing your heart or sweaty palms for an interview.
Start strong. This means you must be prepared and ready. You should be ready for the call, and not let it ring three times. The recruiter should know that you are available and ready for their call. You should use a professional greeting and not just “Hello”
It is a good rule of thumb, to begin with, your name. “Hello, Joe Greene,” is a good starting point. Let them know when they call that you are expecting their call and that you are excited about the interview.
Yes, this is it. But only because it’s so important. When you smile, something changes in your vocal cords. You should also consider the positive effects smiling can have on nerves. This is something you’ve already practiced in the mirror. Now it’s time to apply it during your interview. It’s hard to sound upbeat and happy when you aren’t smiling.
Be the voice
A one-tone drone is the best thing to put someone to sleep. You can add excitement to your voice by changing the pitch. It may be your normal voice, but it lacks interest. Ouch!
Check your volume while you are at it. While you want to be heard by the interviewer, you don’t want your volume to go too high.
Last but not least, make sure the pace is steady. Slow is better than fast. It is not a good idea to lose your interviewer due to their inability to keep up with your ramblings. It is crucial to keep the interviewer engaged during a telephone interview.
Be prepared for any potential problems
The neighbor starts their renovation project right in the middle of an interview. Or there is a medical emergency. Or your phone decides to stop charging. Plan B. Decide ahead how you will deal with such situations and prepare a plan. You might consider having a backup phone or another location to conduct interviews.
Worst case scenario, you may have to call the interviewer and apologize. Ask if it is possible to reschedule.
The bottom line
Your ability to remain calm and focused is key to your success in a telephone interview. You can prepare for the interview, but half the battle is finding your inner strength and gaining confidence along the way. You can succeed by following sound advice and applying what you have learned, as well as being prepared for any eventualities. We have all the information you need to help you land your dream job.