More and more companies are using phone interviews before bringing job candidates in and you have to be memorable – not just with what you say, but how you say it. Those “ums”, “yeahs” and “likes” you use in regular conversation could count against you like minutes ticking away in a parking meter.
You need to treat the interview seriously and as if it is a face-to-face interview. If they are calling you for a phone interview, it’s because you meet the minimum requirements. Be sure to prepare for it the same way you prepare for a face-to-face interview and read the following tips. Do whatever it takes because you are being screened in or out during this conversation.
With that in mind, also utilize the following tips to help you ace the phone interview and get the face-to-face interview:
• Be Prepared. Before the interview, review any available online information for the company and the trends in the industry. Make sure to read any recent press releases so that you can show off your knowledge during the interview while praising the company.
• If you responded to a particular job posting, have a copy of that printed out for the interview, along with some notes of how your skills and experience match those requirements. Be ready to take notes during the interview, and have your calendar ready to check your availability for the next step in the hiring process.
• If you are supposed to call the employer, be prompt, but don’t call more than five minutes ahead of schedule. The employer may have other things to do before your call.
• Without the advantage of facial expressions, it’s hard to gauge whether or not you’ve answered a question to the employer’s satisfaction. If you are unsure of the question, ask for clarification. If your answer is met with silence, you may want to see if the interviewer understood you by asking a clarifying question such as, “Did I answer your question?”
• Avoid discussing compensation or benefits. A phone interview is usually an initial step in the hiring process, and you probably do not have enough information to estimate your worth in the new position. If the interviewer brings up the topic, it’s permissible to say, “I’m flexible or negotiable,” or “I’d like to learn more about the opportunity before I discuss that.”
• Thank the employer for taking time out of their day to speak with you. Let them know that they may call you anytime if they have other questions. Make sure your outgoing voicemail message is professional in case they miss you.