Today, many employers conduct initial phone interviews to help determine the best qualified candidates for employment. They are often a great way to narrow down candidates who will ultimately be invited for in-person interviews.
Itâ€™s easy to underestimate the importance of a phone interview, but doing so could minimize your chance of employment. Since the interviewer canâ€™t physically see you, theyâ€™re judging you based solely on your voice, answers and other sounds that may come through during the phone call. Given this, itâ€™s imperative to make a great impression that could land you that in-person interview and eventually, a full-time gig.
Here are four tips to help you ace your phone interview:
Be prepared: Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview. Practice answering questions, have a physical copy of your cover letter and resume in front of you, as well as a pen and paper to take notes. In order to give yourself enough time to converse in a calm and collected manner, avoid scheduling the interview on a tight schedule.
Set the scene: While you may enjoy working from your favorite coffee shop, this may not be the best place to take a business call, especially one that determines your future. Make sure youâ€™re in a quiet environment, away from pets and kids, and where you can speak with a reasonable volume.
Disable your phoneâ€™s extra features: Itâ€™s always best to use a secured landline when conducting a phone interview. However, your cell phone may be the only option you have. When using your cell phone, disable your phoneâ€™s extra features to hinder any distractions during the interview. This includes silencing noisy notifications for calling waiting, voicemails, text messages, e-mails and games.
Perfect your voice: Practice talking—even if itâ€™s to yourself— before your interview. You donâ€™t want to sound as if you just woke up and werenâ€™t prepared to take the call. Exercising your voice prior to the call will make you sound clear, confident and concise. Also keep a glass of water near during the interview in case your mouth gets dry. Even if itâ€™s 8 a.m., remember to smile when answering questions, as it will show your excitement and enthusiasm.