Telephone interviews have become very common as a first step in the interview process. It allows employers to narrow down the candidate pool and only schedule the most qualified applicants for in person interviews.
It is just as important to prepare for a telephone interview as it is for an in person interview. It could be more important as this determines whether or not you ever meet the employer. Following are five tips that can help you prepare for and ace the phone interview.
1. Do not take an unexpected interview. If an employer calls you and is interested in conducting a telephone interview on the spot tell them you are not in a place where you can speak in detail and schedule a later time to call them back. This will give you the time you need to get prepared for the telephone interview.
2. Find a quiet place to conduct the interview. Prior to calling back, make sure you are in a location that is quiet and where you will not be interrupted for the duration of the interview. A phone interview can last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour depending on the position and the interviewer.
3. Get prepared. Gather everything you will need for the interview. This will include your resume, job description, an outline of your experience, skills and accomplishments as they relate to the position, information on the company you are interviewing with, a list of questions to ask the interview and a pen and paper to take notes.
4. Sound enthusiastic about the position. You do not have the advantage of being in front of the employer, therefore you must do everything you can to appear upbeat and enthusiastic. Make sure you smile while talking to the interviewer. Even though they cannot see you it makes you come across on the phone as pleasant. Also, be sure to answer the questions directly without giving to much additional information. The goal of the phone interview is to land an in person interview.
5. Let the interviewer end the call. Thank them for their time, reiterate your interest in the position and ask what the next steps are.
The key to any interview whether in person or on the telephone is preparation. Follow the above steps and it will flow smoothly. Good luck.