I will be participating in my first ever phone interview tomorrow morning! Knowing that I lack phone interview experience, I began to research some recommended ways to get prepared and I thought I would pass these along to you. There has actually been a large shift towards phone interviews as a preferred method for screening eligible candidates. This makes a lot of sense considering the costs involved with travel expenses for the candidate and more candidates applying for every open position.
One of the first sources I came across was an article by Anne Fisher on CNNMoney.com titled, “15 secrets to mastering a phone interview”. Link . Here is the list of recommendations that were particularly helpful to me in that article:
1 ) Be enthusiastic. (This includes smiling! Your speech actually is noticeably different when smiling, so the interviewer may be able to pick up on this.)
2 ) Have a list of questions prepared about the position, company, etc. Also, have a copy of your resume on hand for your reference.
3 ) Match your style to the interviewer’s –> use technical terms if the interviewer is doing so.
4 ) Never interrupt, silently count to two or three after the interviewer finishes their statement, before responding.
5 ) Avoid negative words (e.g. can’t, haven’t, won’t)
6 ) Clearly state your “fit” for the job
7 ) Say thanks! Send a quick e-mail or thank you letter to the interviewer.
8 ) Wear business attire. This can mentally prepare the interviewee as if he/she were going to a face-to-face interview.
9 ) Avoid saying “um” or “ah”, replace these sounds with a short pause.
10 ) Take notes of new information, possible questions you think of, etc.
I am very glad that I did my research about phone interviews and spent some time preparing. Not only will this make me more confident, but it will allow me to be familiar with behaviors I should avoid.
Another article I found by Alison Green titled, “6 reasons you failed your phone interview” really helped me to gain a different perspective, that of the interviewer. Two recommendations in this article were particularly helpful to me.
1) Pay attention to the tone of your voice. Keep alert and interested in what the interviewer has to say. Tones such as: lack of enthusiasm and being distracted can easily be conveyed to the interviewer on the other end of the phone by the individual’s tone.
2) Avoid long winded answers. This is something I personally with, but it is important to quickly convey your ideas and statements. Do not use more than two minutes to explain and if you do have more to share, ask the interviewer if he/she would like you to elaborate more.
In addition to conducting a quick online search, I posted the question on Twitter and received a few helpful recommendations from @MsSanka that weren’t listed on any of the my other sources.