6 Tips for Nailing a Phone Interview

During every job search, you need to be prepared for the possibility that your interview might happen over the phone. Some companies will call you as a part of the screening process to determine whether you’re a good fit for the next step. Others will conduct the entire interview over the phone.

You may think that being interviewed over the phone is easier, but the process comes with its own set of challenges. Not talking to someone face to face has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Keep in mind that, while some companies call in advance to schedule the interview, others ask whether you’ve got the time to talk about the job right away.

Here are some tips that can help you get ready for a phone interview and pass it with flying colors.

Prepare for the Interview

Regardless if you know the time of the interview or it happens out of the blue, you need to be prepared. Take some time researching the company and tailoring the list of your qualifications to the requirements of the job role. Jot down your strengths and weaknesses and go through some of the common interview questions. You should also prepare the questions for the interviewer.

When you get that call, you need to be comfortable during the conversation, so have all the materials at hand. This includes the job ad, your resume, and the cover letter you’ve sent.

Practice Before Getting Called

Practicing by having a friend conduct a mock interview can help you not only go through the common questions but will also enable you to determine what you sound like. The best solution is to record everything. This way, you’ll be able to hear if you’ve got any verbal tics that you should avoid and if you are talking too slowly or too quickly. 

There’s no need to try to memorize your answers. The best approach is to have a general idea of what you’re going to say instead.

Leave a Strong First Impression

When the phone rings, you need to be the one that answers it. State your name to let them know they’re talking to the right person. Since your body language won’t be seen, you have to do the best you can with your words. Show that you’re enthusiastic about the call by thanking them for the time and stating that you’ve been looking forward to the interview. Smiling while you talk can help because it will stop you from sounding bored.

Listen to the Interviewer

Remember that meaningful communication is a two-way street, so do your best to listen to what the interviewer is saying. Don’t interrupt them until they’ve finished the question. If they’re talking and you’ve got important things you want to say, you can jot them down and say them later.

Listening is crucial because you need to respond to everything correctly. If you didn’t understand the question, ask the interviewer to repeat it. Giving an answer to a question that you weren’t actually asked is likely to make the other party think you aren’t paying attention.

Don’t Give Prolonged Answers

While you shouldn’t give short and vague answers, talking for a while without checking what’s going on on the other side of the line won’t work either. 

If the interviewer interrupts you, let them. If they don’t, you can make a short pause and see if they ask you something else. You can also ask if you’ve provided enough information and if they would like to hear more.

Use Your Closing Words Wisely

Regardless of how you feel the interview went, you should end the conversation on a high note. Let the interviewer know that you’re looking forward to the following steps in the process and hoping you’ll get the chance to meet them in person.

This is also your opportunity to let the other party know that the interview helped you learn all that you need about the company and strengthened your interest in the job.

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