5 Ways to Ace a Phone Interview
When you have a job interview coming up, it’s important to ready yourself to the best of your ability. Showing up with your resume in hand in one portion of primping process, but there are so many other things to take into consideration. Depending on the type of interview you are having, which you can review in 6 Types of Interviews, you will want to make sure you are focused, prepared and confident. Let’s get you ready to show your potential new employee just how professional and great of a fit you are!
Be prepared. The Phone Interview.
The initial step of what can sometimes be a lengthy interview process is a phone interview. Phone interviews are typically very short and will range from 15-25 minutes.
- Research the company. Google is your friend here. Type in the company’s name, look at news and articles and review their mission statement. Don’t forget about LinkedIn. Most companies are listed there and share information such as company size and updates. You can also used LinkedIn to see if you have any professional mutual connections. Without being stalky, it may also be helpful to search the interviewer on Facebook to see if you have any friends in common – you never know! Do not snoop on their social media, rather a quick reference to your mutual friends and move on.
- Be a humble superstar. Just like in any other part of the interview process, get familiar with yourself and your skill set. Grab a notebook or a few pieces of lined paper and get ready to get personal…with yourself. Print your resume and the job description and sit down with a pen and paper and start comparing your experience to the job description. What personal qualities do you have that are fitting for the position? How are your goals in line with the mission of the company? What experience do you have that makes you the perfect fit for the company? You can’t prepare too much for this part. The better you get to know yourself, the more confident you will be when asked specific questions about you. Get ready to talk about yourself – not in a over-confident, cocky way, but you also don’t want to be shy or reluctant.
- What do you want to know? Now it’s time to come up with a few general questions. It is not the time to talk about salary, organizational culture or why your interviewer enjoys working there. Those questions will wait until the one on one, panel, group or meal interview. The phone interview questions should be focused on the position itself and can be asked only after the interviewer asks you if have any questions. Some example questions are “is the position full time?” and “when do you expect to have an idea if you’d like to move forward with the interview process?” (Remember, only ask these questions if they haven’t been answered already. If you don’t have any questions, don’t make them up on the spot to fill time. Kindly let them know that you do not have any questions at this time and ask if it is okay for you to contact them if any come up.)
- Be ready for the call. Make sure you know if you are calling them or they are calling you. If you are calling them, have the phone number, extension is applicable and name of the interviewer at your fingertips. This also includes all important materials to set you up for success. Grab that notebook with your notes about yourself, your resume and the job description in front of you. Grab a glass of water and lock yourself in a quiet room. If you are home with your family, let everyone know that you are off to your interview and to not disturb you.
- Saying goodbye. Never end the conversation. Let your interviewer lead the call and end it on their own time. If they do call at an inopportune time, unscheduled time try your best to quickly find a secluded, quiet spot. If it is absolutely impossible to take the call (screaming children, graduation or in class), being polite and kind let them know that you are extremely sorry and would very much like to continue your conversation. Ask them if you can call them back in 30 minutes or if that is convenient for you, politely ask them to reschedule. At the end of the call thank them their for time, tell them that you are even more interested in the position than you were prior to speaking with them and that you look forward to hearing from you.
- Follow up. Don’t be annoying. Instead, send a quick thank you email as professional as possible. Let them know you appreciate them spending their time with you on the phone and reiterate your interest in the position.
Your phone interview is only step one. Ace the first interview and get a second! And remember, if they don’t contact you after, follow up, but also move on. There are other jobs in the sea!