Don't Be Afraid to Pick Up the Phone
Phone interviews are increasingly becoming the first step in the hiring process and hiring managers’ secret weapon to filter out job candidates. Here are some tips for mastering a phone interview.
Dress the Part and Smile
Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a face-to-face interview. Don’t forget to smile--the interviewer can't see you but the confidence will come across in your voice.
In a good interview, both sides ask questions. Have at least five questions on hand: Ask about the company, position and industry. You want to make sure that this company is the right place for you.
Have a Cheat Sheet
Have your resume, questions and legible notes about your job qualifications in front of you during the interview in case you get stuck or can’t remember a fact or question. It can also be helpful to have the company’s website pulled up on your computer.
Test Your Connection (or use a landline)
Avoid having the interview end abruptly due to dropped service or having to ask the interview to repeat a question several times due to a bad connection. Use a landline if possible, and test your phone connection and a hands-free set if you plan to use one. Practice your phone skills: have a quick 'mock' interview with a friend to make sure you are articulating and your tone and volume are appropriate.
Be Positive and Honest
There's no way to tell what the interviewer will ask during the conversation, but your answers should always be honest and positive. Be honest over your current salary and benefits—it’s easy for a company to confirm these numbers with your current employer. If you feel uncomfortable talking about money so early in the interview process, try telling the interviewer you're negotiable and willing to discuss salary requirements in person.
Let the Interviewer Wrap
Don’t make it seem like you are in a hurry to get off the call. Normally, employers will ask if you have any questions—hinting the end of an interview is near. After you have presented your questions, thank the interviewer and express your interest (or disinterest) with the position. If you feel the position is right for you, follow up with a thank-you email.
To save time and money, many companies are weeding out job candidates over phone interviews before bringing them in to meet the team. While everyone has experience talking on the phone, nailing an interview on the line is much harder. Here's how you can make a stellar impression.