If you land a phone interview, pat yourself on the back and celebrate … and never underestimate the importance of this key step on your career path. It means you’ve survived the first critical cut in the hiring process.
As noted by Paul Bailo, author of The Essential Phone Interview Handbook, a phone interview is similar to a first date: “If you don’t get through it successfully, you won’t get married.”
After your back is sufficiently patted, make sure you’re as prepared as possible for your telephone interview.
Research the Company
Do your homework and find out:
- What the company does and what it’s known for. What innovations has it realized? Where does it stack up against its competitors? What current challenges does it face? This will help you build your knowledge base and be perceived as interested and enthusiastic.
- Who your interviewer(s) is (are). As part of your research of the company, find out as much as you can about your interviewer(s) by using resources like Google and LinkedIn. Determine their job titles, areas of expertise, and professional passions.
Find the Right Location
Just because your interview will take place at home or in a similar “informal” setting doesn’t mean that interruptions like noisy pets, children, doorbells, call waiting or washing machines beeping because the load is done are acceptable.
- Make sure your interview area is professional and have copies of the job description and your resume readily available. This will help you provide succinct, quality responses.
- Use a land line. The last thing you need is a signal problem, an audio blip or battery issues on your smartphone. If you must use a mobile device, make sure your location has a strong signal.
Think Before You Answer
A good rule of thumb is to wait about three seconds before you respond to an interview question. This helps you prepare a quality response and avoid rambling or blurting out something less intelligent.
- Prepare your voice. Exercise it ahead of time by practicing different tones and pitches. If necessary, soothe your throat with a spoon of honey or a cough drop, before your interview. And have a glass of water on hand, but sip it discreetly and only as needed.
- Cheat a little! This is perhaps the greatest advantage to a phone interview: You can have notes and your resume in front of you and the company website open on your laptop. It’s like an open book or take-home test!
Make it Personal
Like a face-to-face interview, this is a dialogue between you and your prospective employer to determine whether the two of you will make a successful and productive match. Make it work to your advantage by:
- Addressing your interviewer(s) by name. If you’re not sure how to pronounce a name, ask up front and then clarify.
- Connecting with your interviewer(s) and then developing a conversation. For example, if you have something in common – an alma mater, a previous employer or a hobby – mention and capitalize on it.
- Saying thank you. Do this verbally at the end of the call, and then follow up with an email.
Need additional guidance on interviewing or other aspects of your successful job search? Read our related posts or contact the expert team at PrideStaff Fresno today.