How to Prepare for and Conduct a Successful Phone Interview
A phone interview is a screening process that is normally conducted by the HR Manager to select qualified candidates for face-to-face interviews.
*YOUR JOB = to secure a face-to-face interview by selling yourself to the company*
“Must Do” steps to take to prepare for the phone interview
- Study the company website in-depth
- Read every page you possibly can
- Search the internet for pertinent information on the company
- i.e. news articles, promotions, new senior associates joining the firm, mergers, acquisitions, etc.
- Study the job description
- Look for keywords/ key phrases they may ask you questions about (i.e. certain skills they are looking for, qualifications/ licenses needed, etc.)
How to control your environment before and during the phone interview
- Eliminate noise
- TV, children, music, dogs barking, etc.
- Conduct your phone interview in a quiet place
- Do not drive your vehicle, go to a restaurant, airport, or any public place during your interview
- It is recommended to use a land line for best reception
- If you will be using your cell phone, make sure you have good reception
- Have your laptop with you with your resume available for easy access
- This make is easy if the employer requests you to send them another copy
- Use your laptop or a notepad to take any notes the employer may give you
- Ready yourself as if you were having a face-to-face interview
- Wearing pajamas or sweats during a phone interview can be distracting, making you feel too comfortable or even tired
- Dress up, fix your hair, shower, do whatever it is you would do if you were meeting someone in person
How do you want to be perceived on a phone interview?
- Be articulate in your speech and knowledgeable of the company
- Be honest and sincere
- Express to them how interested you are in the company and the position
- Be friendly, enthusiastic, and positive
- Let them know that you are a fun person to work with and a fun person who can get the job done
- Be aware of your voice tone
- If you had a bad day, it will be heard in your voice
- Take some deep breaths before the interview to calm yourself
- Do some basic exercises, do the hokey pokey to make yourself laugh, get encouragement from a friend or significant other – do what you can to clear your mind of the negatives
Do’s and Don’ts of a successful phone interview
- Keep your answers brief and to the point
- Listen carefully to what is being said
- Take notes with your laptop or notepad, if necessary
- Do not elaborate unnecessarily
- Do not talk over the interviewer or interrupt
- Do not bad mouth your previous employer or co-workers
- Refrain from sharing too much personal information
What to say to secure an invitation for an in-person interview
- “Thank you for your time. I really enjoyed our talk. Based on our conversation today, I am highly interested in this position.”
- “What are your thoughts about us getting together for an in-person interview?”
- “What needs to happen for me to get to the next step?”
- “When will you be making your decision on bringing people in for an in-person interview?”
Appropriate follow-up after the phone interview
- Send a “thank you” email
- Send this email as soon as you can while you are still fresh in the interviewer’s mind
- Reiterate the reasons why you think you are a good match for the position
- Express your interest in meeting with them soon
What questions to ask if you are invited for an in-person interview
- Who will I be interviewing with?
- What time should I arrive?
- Can you tell me something about their management style and personality?
- What is your dress code?
- What is the company culture?
- Where is the interview being held?
What to take with you to the interview
- Clean resume that matches the one you sent to the employer
- Portfolio or examples of your work that is pertinent to the position
- Make sure all references are up to date with correct information