Quick Tips to Conquer Your Next Phone InterviewPosted on
Phone interviews have become a regular staple for job seekers and tend to kick off the interview process. Since this is the first round in your job-seeking journey, you’ll want to make a great first impression. Start off on the right foot by following our quick tips to conquer your next phone interview!
Do your homework
Read up on the company, job description, and industry. What are the company’s latest updates and news? Do their values align with your own? Do you believe in their mission? Memorize the job description and create a list of at least five questions to ask the interviewer. Recruiters love it when you already have questions prepared for the end of the interview!
If you’re applying to a lot of jobs, it can get difficult to keep track of every company and position. Stay organized and plan accordingly. Write down interview days and times, and set reminders on your phone — there’s nothing worse than getting a call from the recruiter when you least expect it.
Pro tip: use a spreadsheet in Excel to keep track of companies, applications, contacts, interviews, and follow-ups!
Be ready, early
Be ready for your phone interview 10 minutes in advance. Have your notes, water, and anything else you need with you. Some employers may call you on the dot; others may take a few minutes to get situated; some will call a few minutes early. It’s better to be prepared with all your materials before the interview. This includes having your resume, LinkedIn Profile, job description, notes, and questions for the recruiter pulled up on your laptop or printed out in front of you.
Find a quiet and comfortable environment
Make sure you take the call in a quiet location with good service. Background noise can get distracting and a dropped call could end the interview before you intend it to. If you can, take the call at home — you have much more control over this environment than you do elsewhere. Find a quiet room and make sure your family members and pets don’t disturb you. If your home isn’t an option, take the call in a quiet meeting room or in your parked car (avoid parking near loud streets).
Use headphones to keep your hands free to jump through notes and take sips of water. Gesticulate as you would in a face-to-face conversation (which comes through in your speech) and jot down notes during the interview.
Pro tip: hit the mute button on your phone to take deep breaths and flip through notes.
Drink plenty of water before and throughout your interview. It’ll keep your vocal cords hydrated and help prevent your throat from drying up if you’re nervous.
Pro tip: avoid eating foods that will dry our your vocal cords (i.e. dairy products, processed sugar, and caffeine).
It may sound silly to smile in a phone interview since the recruiter can’t actually see you, but the sound of a smile comes through your voice and makes you sound friendly and confident. It also makes you sound excited, which is an extremely important message to get across since the recruiter can’t read your nonverbal cues.
Now that you have these quick tips to follow, you’re ready to conquer your next phone interview. Remember to be prepared, confident, and charismatic!
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