Companies often use phone interviews to screen the candidates and narrow the applicant pool. Human resources personnel prefer phone interviews to gain basic information about the candidate such as his interest about the job, salary expectations, willingness to relocate if necessary, etc. Using this information, the HR personnel can identify the best candidates to invite for the actual interview with the hiring manager.
Job seekers should not underestimate the importance of the phone interviews if they really want the job and prepare as best as they can. Below you can find 5 tips on how to ace the phone interviews.
1. Be prepared to explain every detail on your resume: Make sure there is a copy of your resume in front of you during the interview. Most probably, the interviewer will want to walk through your resume and ask questions to get more details. Therefore, you should be prepared to walk him through and explain every bullet point listed on your resume. Also, it is better to keep your answers short and concise.
2. Always smile during the interview: If you stand-up and smile during the interview, you sound more confident and the tone of your voice changes. This interview is not just about answering a few questions. It is also about showing your personality to the interviewer and convincing him that you are a good fit to the company. Therefore, you should use your voice as your body language.
3. Do your homework and get prepared: Don’t forget that this is not any different than the in person interview. For this reason, take it seriously and be prepared. Research the company and the position so that you can discuss why you want to work in this position and in this company. In addition, prepare intelligent questions to ask your interviewer. You can read my previous blog post ‘Best Questions to Ask during Interviews to Employers’ for this.
4. Make a Cheat Sheet: Make a list of things that you want the interviewer to know about you such as your skills, your accomplishments and your interests. Try to touch upon these points when you are answering the questions. Towards the end of the interview, take a look at this sheet and if the interviewer asks you if you have any questions or anything else to add, this is your chance to discuss the remaining items on your list.
5. Clear Your Environment: Make sure the room you are in is quiet during the interview. Clear the distractions around you. Turn off your TV, close the door and make sure your phone battery is charged. Keep a glass of water ready in front of you in case you get thirsty. However, do not drink or eat anything else. Also, don’t chew a gum!