Phone interviews are usually the first step in the interview process. Companies often opt for an initial phone interview to screen people before meeting them in person. In most cases, these phone conversations are your first contact with a company, and companies will filter you out of the hiring process if you don’t sound like a match to the role. For this reason, this first impression is very important and should be taken seriously.
Here are a few useful hints to help you through the process:
1. Window Of Time
Make sure you work with your recruiter to set up either a specific time or “window of time” for the call. This will allow you to be fully prepared and avoid situations where you are unable to conduct an effective interview.
2. Avoid Cellular Phones
You want to make sure that your connection is very clear and that you have good reception. Also ensure your phone (especially if you are on an extension) is audible and functioning properly. Avoid cellular phones and use a land line if possible.
3. Stand Up!
Stand up while speaking! By doing this, it will not only make you feel more energetic, but you are more likely to clearly articulate yourself. Often when people sit idly during an interview they slouch and enunciate less clearly. Remember the tone of your voice is amplified three times on the phone so be aware of any potential distractions, i.e. radio, television, background conversation, etc.
4. Call Waiting
If you have the “call-waiting” feature on your phone, do not interrupt your conversation to answer a call. Disconnect call-waiting if you are initiating the phone call (*70, then dial the number). If a call should a call come through and it creates a distinctive break in the conversation, either ignore it, or make light of the situation. If you have a bad connection and/or have difficulty hearing the other party, either have the person call back, adjust the phone, or ask them to speak louder.
5. Do Your Research
Make sure you have done your research on the company and the interviewer prior to the phone interview. Use Google and LinkedIn to do this. You should have bullet points or notes in front of you in case they ask you a question about their company. You will come across as well-organized and prepared.
The phone interview is not to be taken lightly simply because you are not in front of the interviewer. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself for the role and to find out more about the position. The phone interview is also the most opportune time to set up your face-to-face meeting with the hiring manager(s). Do not be afraid to ask for the appointment. Have your calendar at hand so you may suggest dates that would be convenient to interview.
For more information about how you can get set up for your next interview, apply with ICS and partner with a Recruiter!