Like it or not, phone interviews have become a standard part of the interview process for many companies nowadays.
With a high number of applicants trying to get hired for a much smaller number of jobs, companies have employed the phone interview as a way to quickly screen out candidates.
As someone who was in the job-hunting trenches earlier this year, I had to endure many phone interviews on the way to my current (and awesome!) position with The Global Edge Consultants. I can attest that it’s a nerve-wracking process, especially if you’re rusty or inexperienced with interviewing as I was.
I’d like to share some tips that helped me during my phone interviews. You may have heard of a lot of these before, but it’s always nice to get a reminder, especially when first starting to seriously look for work again.
• Have a notepad, a printed copy of your resume, and a job description handy. Remember that in a phone interview you can’t be seen, so this is a great opportunity to have notes on hand to refer to while on the phone. If you’re a visual person like I am, this is a great help so you don’t stumble and stutter when trying to answer interview questions.
• Make sure you’re in a quiet place with a good cellular signal. Of course, a landline is preferred for an important phone call like a phone interview, but honestly, who’s near a landline these days? Since the most likely situation involves using your mobile phone, be sure you’re in a location where signal is clear and your call won’t get dropped. It’s pretty embarrassing to ask an interviewer to repeat what was just said because of a bad connection, or worse—have the call dropped on you.
• Dress up as if you were going to an in-person interview. Dressing nicely boosts confidence, which is reflected in your demeanor and voice. Which leads to my next point…
• Stand up straight, smile, and introduce yourself as soon as you answer the phone. These are tips that are a no-brainer during an in-person interview, but let me remind you again that you won’t be seen during a phone screening. Standing up straight allows for more relaxed breathing, while smiling is reflected in your voice. It’s very likely the person on the other end of the phone will pick up on your positive attitude right away. Introducing yourself gets rid of the dreaded “Is this so-and-so?” exchange that can eat up valuable time for both parties.
• Remember the basics of any interview: show up early, don’t badmouth any old employers, speak slowly and clearly when responding to questions, ask questions of your own, and always, ALWAYS say thank you!
I hope these tips will be a great help to you the next time you are asked to participate in a phone interview.
The Global Edge Consultants
The Global Edge Consultants is a full service firm specializing in the recruitment of technical and project personnel for industries such as Government, Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Chemical, Engineering, Power, Nuclear and Manufacturing. Check out our careers page!