Being invited to interview for a promising new job is always exciting, but some job seekers make the mistake of considering a phone interview a mere formality. In reality, it’s a first-round screening process used to eliminate candidates who clearly aren’t suited for the role, so if you don’t take it seriously, you may never get the chance to interview in person.
Follow these five tips to master the art of phone interviewing, so you’ll have the opportunity to move on to the next round.
- Choose a Quiet Spot With Good Reception
It doesn’t matter how fantastic and well-rehearsed your responses to the interviewer’s questions are if they can’t hear you. At minimum, you’ll have days of advance warning before the call, so plan ahead to find a quiet area free of interruptions. Chances are, you’ll also be using your mobile phone, so make sure the spot has good reception.
- Prepare as You Would for an In-Person Interview
In your phone interview, you’ll be asked the same standard questions as you would during an in-person meeting. If you want to proceed to the next step in the interview process, you’ll need to be prepared with the same impressive responses. Of course, this time you’ll be able to write your main talking points down, in case you get nervous and forget what you wanted to say.
- Have Your Resume in Front of You
You’ll definitely be asked to discuss your professional history, so have a copy of your resume on the desk in front of you in case you need to reference it. It’s also a good idea to pull up the company website on your computer so you can quickly search for information on its products or history. This can be very helpful, but you do need to be stealthy because you don’t want the interviewer to hear you typing.
- Dress Your Best
Dressing to impress isn’t just about looking amazing — it’s about how you feel. Slipping on professional attire for a phone interview may seem ridiculous on the surface, but it actually helps you get into a confident mindset. It’s true the interviewer won’t know if you’re wearing sweatpants, but you will, and it will reflect in your attitude.
- Ask About the Next Steps
Don’t forget to inquire about the rest of the interview process if it’s not brought up at the end of the conversation. This demonstrates your continued interested in the job and gives you a timeline to follow, so you know when to expect a decision.
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