Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular and for the 21st century job seeker it’s critical to know how to prepare for them. Most of us feel more comfortable with a phone interview, rather than an in-person interview, but we shouldn’t forget what the purpose of this interview is.
Employers choose to interview candidates over the phone first because they want to sift through the applicants and select just a few to meet in person. Phone interviews require just as much preparation as in-person interviews, so here are four important steps you should take before you pick up the phone.
1. Choose your surroundings wisely
In order to succeed in a phone interview, you need to choose a quiet and comfortable place where you can talk freely. If you’re in a noisy environment, not only will you be distracted, but your interviewer will be too. He/she will be able to hear all the background noise coming from your end, and may even have trouble understanding you.
You should also be able to talk freely and comfortably on the phone, thus don’t schedule your interview during your work hours. If an employer calls while you’re at work and wants to have an impromptu interview over the phone kindly ask if you can reschedule for another time.
2. Prepare responses to obvious questions
The phone interview is supposed to support your resume and convince the employer that they want to meet you. Scan your resume and think of possible questions you may have to answer about your job history, skills and experience. Prepare answers to these questions and rehearse them until you can deliver them smoothly and confidently.
3. Walk and talk
Standing up and smiling while speaking will make you more confident and vibrant, and that will translate into your conversation. Your speech becomes more natural as you take a few steps around the room. You will also notice that you begin to use hand gestures while you talk, making you feel more relaxed and in control of the conversation. Try this for practice with your friends or family and see how your tone and the conversation changes.
4. End on a good note
At the end of the interview, you obviously want to know if you succeeded. Unfortunately, most of the time you won’t get an immediate answer, so be sure to ask the interviewer questions about the decision-making process and about the person making the decisions. Follow up by mailing them a personalized handwritten thank you note.