Sure, we’re in the Zoom era, where employers go screen to screen as part of the interview process. But most interviews, no matter the field you’re in, start with a phone call. Phone interviews may seem a lost art, but to move forward in any job interview process, you should know how to conduct yourself. This blog will help you nail your next phone interview with some practical tips to keep you moving forward in your job hunt. 

Tip 1: Prepare for the Call

You should prepare for any interview, and a phone call is no exception. Review the company you’re interviewing with and the job description and come up with questions for the interviewer. This will help you feel more prepared for whatever questions the interviewer throws in your direction. Go ahead and compile some of your strengths and weaknesses and even practice answering some of the most common interview questions such as, “Why do you want this job?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Have your resume nearby, too, so you can easily remember dates and other important details. 

Taking even a half-hour or hour to do this prep work will help you ace the phone interview. 

Tip 2: Phone Interview Etiquette 101 

For obvious reasons, tone of voice is critical to a phone interview. Try to speak slowly and distinctly and even smile to brighten up your tone when it’s appropriate. Answer the phone professionally, such as, “Hello, this is --.” Make sure you’re in a setting where there’s no background noise and do not multi-task. If you’re running water and doing dishes, stop because the interviewer will hear you.  

Use a headset so you can zero in on the conversation. If you have a call waiting, turn it off. You should be able to set your phone on do not disturb, so you won’t hear those distracting pings, bloops, and buzzes.  

Don’t chew gum, drink, or eat, unless you feel like you might cough. A glass of water could come in handy if that happens. Stay focused, listen, and we even recommend standing up during the call so you’re not too comfortable but literally “on your toes,” during the conversation. 

Try to follow the interviewer’s lead. Some interviewers will want to get right into it. Others will start with some small talk. Be prepared for both and just roll with what they’re most comfortable with. Let the interviewer finish the question completely before you start speaking. If the question has two parts, write down the second part and concentrate on the first section, coming back to part two. 

Dead air is okay. It’s okay to think about how you will answer the question. If you need something repeated or you didn’t understand the question, it’s also okay to ask the interviewer to repeat the question or to clarify what they were asking. 

Tip 3: Following Up After the Interview

Always thank the interviewer for their time. If you don’t have their email address, now is the time to get it. Immediately send a thank you email right after the interview and reiterate your interest in the job. 

We hope these phone interview tips help you land the job you want. If you want to practice these skills, why not call the People Plus team today? We can help you find the right job and our services are free to job seekers. 

Aug 18, 2021 By Amy Sanderson