You can encounter two types of phone interviews, scheduled and unscheduled. If you receive a surprise phone call, inform them that you are very interested in this opportunity but you are not currently available and would like to reschedule. Entering any interview unprepared can be a disaster waiting to happen. Check out these phone interview tips to get yourself ready!
Just like any interview, you have to prepare. As always, do research on the company and the position you are interviewing for. Match up your core competencies with the position available and your fit with the company culture. Next, research what types of questions they are likely to ask over the phone. Then compile a list of your background, strengths, weaknesses, and a list of questions to ask when the interview is over.
Phone interviews tend to be 10-30 minutes in length. During that time, make sure you are in a quiet area. Kick out all the kids and animals. Have no distractions and chances for interruptions around.
Next, have all the materials you need in front of you. Have your résumé pulled up or printed and something to take notes with. Write down the name and title of the person you are interviewing with, any important information presented, and details about sending any follow up material - i.e. an example material of your work.
When you are expecting a phone interview, answer every call in a professional manner. “Hello, Morgan speaking.” Be sure to not let the phone ring for more than 2 to 3 rings.
Your voice is your tool when you’re on a phone interview. Phone interview etiquette is to smile while you talk. It helps you come across as a positive, professional sounding person. Remember to speak clearly, confidently, and articulate what you are saying. Avoid sounding tired, bored, and uninterested. Using good posture helps with this. Try to skip over words such as “um.” “uh,” and “like.” Again, your voice is your tool.
If you wouldn’t do it in a regular interview, don’t do it during a phone interview. For example, you wouldn’t eat food, chew gum, respond to texts, check your email, talk over the interviewer, or watch TV during a face-to-face interview. So, don’t do it on a phone interview. Manners are key. Just because you’re not sitting directly in front of the interviewer, does not make this interview any less important.
Finally, always leave the interview positively by thanking them for his/her time and that you appreciate the opportunity. As you would in a face-to-face interview, send a follow-up thank you email.
To learn more about different interview styles, check out our other blogs about situational, panel, stress, structured v unstructured, case, and behavioral interviews.