Interviews are always hard, but you might be thinking a phone interview may be a little less intimidating. I hate to break it to you, but as someone who has experienced a phone interview, they are just as nerve-wracking, and you need to prepare for them just as much as you do for a regular interview. Follow these tips to nail your next phone interview!
1. Do Your Research
Make sure you have an understanding of what type of interview you're preparing for, and research some possible questions you'll be asked. Research the company just like you would for a face-to-face interview. If you happen to know who you are interviewing with, it won't hurt to look up some information on that person as well. Finding common relations are good intro talking points. While researching, you should also prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview. Having questions are always a good sign of interest.
A mistake I made for my phone interview was thinking I could write a cheat sheet. Without having the interviewer right in front of you, it may seem easy enough to write down what you want to say and just read from it. But you don't want to sound like a robot. You still want to be yourself even though you want the interview to go perfectly. Most of the time, you do better than you think. So don't write a script for yourself. Instead, you can write talking points of important things you want to say and go from there.
3. Set up and Clear the Room
Make sure to let family, friends, and your roommate know that you have an important call. Try to be the only one in the room during this time with no interruptions. Put your phone on silent, a "do not disturb" sign on your door, and set up early so that you don't have to do much right before the interview. Don't forget, when you answer the phone, answer with your name so the interviewer will know they have the right person.
4. Don't Multitask
Doing other things like watching T.V., chewing gum, or eating may be fine while talking on the phone to your friends. But during a phone interview, you want to give your full attention without any distractions that could lead you to miss something important or seem unprofessional.
You’re probably wondering why you need to smile when you're not even in a face-to-face interview. Well actually, smiling can change the way you talk. It makes you sound happier and give off a positive mental image to the interviewer.
Another tip to think about is to stand during your phone interview because it can help your voice sound more enthusiastic. Sitting may give you the need to clear your throat and it makes it harder for you to speak through your gut.
7. Take Notes
You definitely want to have pen and paper ready to take notes during the interview in case you want to go back over something when it's over.
8. Follow-Up Email
Just like in a regular interview, it's important to send a follow-up thank you email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and answering your questions. If you don't have their email, you can easily ask them for it at the end of the phone interview.
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