Phone interviews are frequently used by companies to save time by pre-qualifying your interest and expertise. They are a great opportunity for you to put your best foot forward and get noticed. The following are some recommendations to ensure your next phone interview is successful for you.
1. Isolate Yourself
Phone interviews can be challenging because you only have one tool of communication: your voice. The interviewer’s impression of you is shaped by all the sounds coming through the phone. Insulate yourself from distractions and background noises. Do not have your phone interview when you are surrounded by a lot of noise like an outdoor café at a busy intersection. If the call is on your cell phone, make sure that you have excellent reception and make sure the caller can hear you clearly as soon as you begin.
2. Stand Up
During the call stand up, walk around, and smile. Standing gives you more confidence and it really makes a difference in the tone of your voice. Smiling is like a secret weapon on a phone interview. It automatically makes your voice friendlier and calm. Both of these things make a big difference in the projection and quality of your voice.
3. Prepare Your Responses
Phone interviews follow a similar pattern of questioning with the purpose of screening people out of consideration. Below is a list of questions most phone interviewers ask. Write them down and practice your responses in advance. Make notes for your reference during the call.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about our company?
- How did you learn about this position?
- What are your compensation requirements?
- Why are you looking for a new position?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Do you have any questions?
4. Ask Thoughtful Questions
Questions are your primary tool of influence with an interviewer. They help you direct the conversation and assess if the company is right for you. Here are some questions to ask during a phone interview.
- What business imperatives are driving the need for this position?
- Describe the three top challenges that I’ll face in this job.
- What are the characteristics of people who are most successful in your company?
- What are the key deliverables and outcomes that this position must achieve?
5. Ask Closing Questions
The end of the interview is a perfect time to finalize any additional thoughts and ask any remaining questions you have. The following are some questions you should consider asking at the end of the phone interview.
- What additional information would you like me to provide?
- What concerns do you have at this point?
- What are the key things you’d like to learn about my background?
- When is the best time to follow up with you?
At the conclusion of your phone interview, ask the interviewer about next steps and the timing of their hiring process. This will leave you with a clear idea of what to expect so you’re not left in the dark.