Many of you have probably read all about how to prepare for interviews: dress well, have open body language, make a good first impression. While these tips are useful and beneficial for in person interviews, there is little direction on how to prepare for a phone interview.
“Many companies use phone interviews to screen candidates for the next round of interviews,” says Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources at Indeed Canada.
So, before you are even able to apply your well developed in-person interview skills, you have to impress your interviewer with your mastery of phone conversation. Your delivery, your tone of voice and your ability to provide clear and concise answers will need to shine through the quick phone call.
To help you prepare for your interview, Wolfe and Angela Payne (of Monster Canada) suggested some tips:
1. Take the call from a landline and in a quiet place
Landlines provide the best quality in terms of hearing the person on the other end, Payne says. You’re less likely to have to deal with any technical issues. But if you don’t have a landline, at least find a quiet and open space so that your cell signal is clear and there aren’t any noises in the background.
2. Treat a phone interview as an in-person interview
Wolfe says, be sure to prepare in advance and do your research, just as you would in a regular interview.
3. Dress accordingly
“Although your employer won’t see what you look like, getting cleaned up will help you get in the right frame of mind, just like you would in the workplace,” Payne says.
4. Write down or highlight the skills the job description calls for
As you prepare, take note of the phrases and terms you might want to use in your responses, Wolfe suggests.
Think up examples of how you have used your analytical, communication or problem-solving skills; for example.
5. Prepare your answers to key questions
You may be asked important questions like, “Why do you want to leave your current job?” or “Are you willing to relocate for this position?” Wolfe points out.
“Think about these types of questions in advance and be prepared to talk through your experience and why you think you’re the best fit for the role.”
6. Stand up while speaking and make sure to smile
“Research has shown that you project your voice better when you’re standing up,” Payne says. “You’ll find yourself feeling a little more confident and knowledgeable too.”
And don’t forget to smile while speaking, she adds.
“Smiles are heard through your voice even though they can’t be seen,” Payne says.
7. Have your résumé, cover letter and company information in front of you
Without a doubt, you will be asked about the experience listed on your résumé, Payne says, so make sure you have the details in front of you, so you don’t stumble or leave anything out.
8. Ask questions
Like you would for an in-person interview, prepare two to three questions you want to ask the hiring manager about the company and role, Wolfe says. This will show the recruiter your level of interest in the position and it will help determine if the company and job are a right fit for you.
With these tips, you can take your phone interview skills to the Next Level!