Being a job seeker in today’s economy is tough work. Applying to job, after job, after job with limited to no replies can become quiet discouraging. Knowing that you are competing with a large pool of qualified candidates, it’s important that you are prepared when you finally receive the request for a phone interview.
One of the most important things you can do when preparing for a phone interview is to have a copy of your resume in front of you. As a recruiter and previous hiring manager, I have conducted phone interviews in the past where candidates struggle to remember dates of employment or even certain responsibilities they had at previous positions. This is not a great way to start off an initial interview.
In order to make sure you are fully prepared to discuss your work history and experience, make sure you have a copy of your resume to reference throughout the interview. Remember, this is a phone interview. The interviewer will not be able to see that you are referencing your resume or any personal notes during the interview. Use this to your advantage and be prepared.
2. Limited Distractions
Before your scheduled phone interview, be sure to take time to think about where you will be during the phone interview. US News stresses the importance of controlling your environment. Ideally, you want to be somewhere with limited distractions. Choose a quiet place where you can concentrate on the conversation and give your full attention to the interviewer.
Also, if you must use a mobile phone, make sure that your phone battery is fully charged and that you have plenty of minutes or time to cover the time frame of the interview. There are few things more embarrassing than having to call back and explain to an interviewer that you made the mistake of not charging your phone, or having enough minutes in order to complete the phone interview. Not only is this humiliating, but it also shows a lack of responsibility on your part.
While your attitude or expressions cannot be seen over the phone, rest assured that they can be heard. Make sure that you are upbeat, positive, and smiling throughout the interview. Be prepared for tough questions and make sure there is no frustration or defensiveness in your responses.
US News validly points out that your interviewer will be listening for certain things in your tone of voice and responses during the phone interview. The interviewer will be thinking about how you would behave during difficult work situations, high stress or fast-paced environments, as well as situations specific to their company culture.
Finally, be sure to conduct research on the company prior to the phone interview. While it is great to ask questions at the end of the interview, it is not impressive to the interviewer when your questions are referencing what the company does or other general items that you could have quickly referenced online.
At the very least, check out the company’s website in order to develop a general idea of what line of business they are in, how long they have been in business, and what their company values are.
How do you prepare for a phone interview? Please share your tips in the comments below.