More and more companies are relying on phone screens, or phone interviews, to decide whether or not a candidate should be invited for an in-person interview. Phone interviews are generally less expensive and time-intensive for the company. The phone interviews are usually short and last between 5- 10 minutes and are conducted by an HR person.
Here are some tips for acing your telephone interview.
1. Treat the phone interview the same way you would an in-person job interview.
This means that you should be focused and come prepared with knowledge of both the company and the job. One benefit of having a phone interview is that you can have company materials in front of you for reference. Some people like to have the company’s website in front of them on a computer screen and others like to have a copy of their resume or job description. Figure out what works best for you and have those things available before you take the call.
2. If you must take the call from your cell phone, make sure you are in an area that has good reception and you’re in a quiet environment.
Background noises are very distracting to the interviewer and you want to make sure that the interviewer knows you are taking the interview seriously. If you take the call at a coffee shop or restaurant, you really aren’t in control of the ambient noise.
3. Sound enthusiastic and have a smile in your voice.
This is the tricky thing about the telephone interview – you can’t judge reactions in the same way as when you are face to face with an interviewer. It’s a little harder to engage the interviewer in a two-way conversation if she/he has a list of questions. As you don’t get the feedback or body language information that helps in the face to face situation, it might be useful to ask questions such as “is that what you needed to know?” or “do you want me to go into more detail?”
4. Send a thank you note.
Make sure you have the interviewer’s email details so that after the interview ends you can write them a thank you note, so as to reiterate your interest in the role and outline key points discussed and what you think you bring to the table.
By: Tamara Papo, Career Services Coordinator