Tips for Acing a Phone Interview

Written by Jennifer Fantin, Recruitment and Admissions Assistant

With such a competitive job market these days, single positions are often receiving hundreds of applications. In order to handle this mass influx of potential candidates, hiring managers are increasingly opting to conduct the initial job interviews over the phone. This is a great way to screen applicants before both sides dedicate the time and travel to meet in person.

Phone interviews have their pros and cons. This practice often leaves both interviewers and job seekers with less of a personal connection, and it can make standing out as the ideal candidate even more difficult. On the plus side, applicants can make use of preparation materials, including the internet, and even take the phone call from the comforts of their own home.

Many similarities exist between the traditional in-person interview and an interview conducted over the phone; however, there are a few tips, unique to phone interviews, that one should keep in mind.

1. Background Noise– Take the call in a quiet place. You want to ensure that the only thing the interviewer hears is the sound of your confident and professional voice.

PhOnE2. Have Your Resume On-Hand– Even though you are very familiar with your own background, it is helpful to have a copy of your resume in front of you to highlight specific achievements, tasks, and dates. It is also essential to make sure this document is up to date before any interviews.

3. Prepare Notes– Do some background research on the organization and the specific role you are interviewing for. It is also helpful to have answers prepared for some standard interview questions. Remember, this is a phone interview and you can keep these notes with you for reference.

4. Stand Up and Smile– Standing and smiling is not necessarily a requirement for a successful phone interview, but being on your feet increases your energy level and smiling will keep your voice upbeat. Be sure to convey a good level of enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

5. Ask Questions– Your interviewer is going to give you time to ask questions you may have regarding the position, and this part is vital to your success. Think of a few solid questions in advance; the interviewer wants to know that you are engaged in the conversation.

6. Listen Closely– Taking notes during the interview is a great way to remember what was discussed, ask smart questions, and write a great follow up.

7. Find Out the Next Steps– Prior to ending the conversation, it is important that you express excitement for the opportunity, and ask about the next phase of the process.

8. Follow Up– You definitely need to follow up with the interviewer and thank them for their time. This is also a great opportunity to reiterate your interest and be sure they remember you as a qualified candidate.

Interviews are stressful, but being prepared will help you to feel confident. Do your best, and leave an impression that will have them eager to meet you in person!

Read more on phone interview tips in this U.S. News and World Report article!



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