You probably already know the importance of preparing for an interview. If you’re like most people, though, you’ve thought about in-person interviews and even videoconferences. But you may not have paid much attention to what’s likely to be the first step in the process: a phone interview. Whether it’s with an HR representative or a department head, you will likely need to pass an initial phone screening before moving on. Here are some tips to ace your next phone interview.
How Can You Nail a Phone Interview?
Use a Cheat Sheet
Since your interviewer can’t see you, this is a great time to rely on notes. Write a short elevator pitch that briefly explains who you are and why you’re perfect for the job. Jot down some stories to share from your previous jobs. Compile a few key facts about the company you’re interviewing with, and develop a list of questions you want to ask.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You can do your phone interview from whatever setup makes you feel best, whether that’s on the couch in your pajamas or at your desk in business attire. You can even take a call from your favorite coffee shop or theme park as long as you can find a quiet location with strong cell service.
Put a smile on your face before dialing in. Though the interviewer can’t see it, the act of smiling can help add enthusiasm to your voice. Also, work on your diction ahead of time. Clear speech is easier to understand and makes you sound more confident. Some people like to stand up, which can help modulate your vocal tone.
Pace the Conversation
Use active listening skills to keep the interview moving along. Asking clarifying questions shows interest while also giving you a moment to catch your breath during the responses. Take notes and circle back to earlier points when it makes sense. You’ll come across as engaged and enthused while helping to avoid awkward silences.
Ask About Next Steps
At the end of the interview, you will have a chance to ask questions. After gathering whatever information you need about the role and the company, inquire about the next steps. This will reiterate your interest in moving forward, while also helping you know what to expect.
A phone interview is a key step in the hiring journey, but many people don’t pay much attention to it. Following the tips above can help set you apart from the crowd.