Phone interviews can be just as stress-inducing as in-person interviews. This is because so many things can get lost in translation. You can’t gauge the employer’s facial expression or body language over the phone, you can only rely on their tone of voice.
In the same way, the employer won’t see how confident you come across or give you eye contact. For this reason, you will need to really sell yourself by your voice alone, which can be a challenging feat. But not to worry, we list the best tips to prepare for a phone interview.
Why do Companies do Phone Interviews?
Phone interviews mostly come down to necessity and convenience. By interviewing over the phone, employers can narrow down candidates for in-person interviews. Employers also use phone interviews for candidates located far away, and for people in remote positions.
Benefits of a Phone Interview
Control of setting and environment
Able to prepare notes or resume for reference
Don’t need to travel
Cost and time effective
How to Prepare
Before the interview
With phone interviews, the devil is in the detail. Once you’ve scheduled your phone interview, it’s wise to draft a confirmation email to send to the employee. Confirming via email ensures that everything is in writing and everyone agrees with the time and date. It also shows professionalism on your part.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but notes are crucial for highlighting important information about the company and the role. Spend some time researching prior to your phone interview. Consider where you might fit into the company and how you can add value.
Find a quiet space
The best thing about phone interviews is you don’t need to worry about your appearance. But you still must make a good impression. The last thing you need is your dog barking or neighbors mowing the lawn during the interview. Get away from disruptive backgrounds and let your household know about the interview in advance. If you can’t find a quiet room inside, try sitting in your car or booking a conference room.
Practice your Answers
Don’t forget to prepare for questions they might ask you in the interview. Common questions include your strengths and weaknesses, your goal in 5 years’ time and why the company should hire you. Get in touch with people in your network to see if they can help.
Set a Professional Voicemail
Many of us have fallen for the classic voicemail prank before, but a prospective manager won’t appreciate yours. Before the interview, make sure you set up a professional voicemail. It should be simple and straight to the point: “Hi, this is [your name]. I’m not available right now, but please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.”
Get a good night’s sleep
Feeling refreshed and alert on the day is vital. If you’re groggy from a lack of sleep, this will reflect in your voice and the interviewer will know. Avoid this by setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep the day before. Turning off your technology a few hours and doing a few meditative exercises before bed can prompt an earlier night.
During the interview
While on the phone, you want to do the following steps:
Smile – it will make your sound warmer and friendlier
Make your answers detailed but brief
Keep your phone fully charged
Avoid chewing gum
Use headphones to reduce background noise
Have a bottle of water nearby to keep your throat clear
After the Interview
After the interview, it’s a good idea to send a thank-you email. This shows appreciation and that you value the employer’s time.
Phone interviews don’t take long — typically around 30 minutes. Still, that doesn’t mean you can wing it and hope for the best. By knowing how to prepare for the interview, you can show your best side and make it to an in-person interview.