In today’s competitive job market, interview processes are becoming longer and longer. More often than not, the preliminary stage is the phone interview. A phone interview might seem daunting at first, but by following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be one step closer to the in-person interview stage.
Do Your Research.
Regardless of whether your first interview is on the phone or in person, doing research on the company and people(s) you are interviewing for is the most important aspect of preparing for an interview. If you are not prepared, an interviewer will know. Having done research prior to the interview will give you an added confidence going in to the phone call that you know exactly what you will be discussing.
It is always helpful to prepare for an interview by practicing. Have a friend or family member call you and preform a mock interview. This can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses over the phone, as well as work out any technical difficulties that might hinder the process.
Do Dress For Success
A phone interview is not an excuse to stay casual in your pajamas. By dressing as you would for a normal interview, you will immediately be put in a more professional mindset.
Do Take Notes
Depending on the length of the phone call, it could be helpful to jot down important notes. This does not mean writing down everything the interviewer says, just the most important notes such as contact information, questions to ask later, or something that particularly stands out.
Do Ask Questions
Just as you would in an in-person interview, it is recommended that you prepare a list of questions before the interview. End the phone call on a high note by highlighting your interest by asking questions.
Don’t Take the Call in an Inappropriate Place
The phone interview should not be taken in the kitchen where your family or roommates or making noise, or in a public place where distractions or interruptions can occur. Find a quiet, isolated area where you will be able to carry out the entire interview in peace.
While it may be tempting to multitask during your phone interview, it is extremely important that you remain focused on the interview and only the interview. Silence any music or television in the background, close any social media tabs on your computer, and do not drink or eat during the interview. Even though they cannot see you, the interviewer will be able to tell if you are not completely focused on them only.
Don’t Use Speakerphone
It might seem like a smart choice to put your speakerphone on during the interview so you have the ability to take notes, but it is strongly recommended that you hold your phone. More often than not, speakerphone causes miscommunication and hearing issues on both sides. It is better to be same than sorry, so hold the phone throughout the interview.
It may seem necessary in the moment to interrupt what an interviewer is discussing to ask questions or chime in, but that is one of the easiest ways to irritate someone. A slight pause between when the interviewer talks and when you respond allows for you to formulate a coherent response, and it is a more natural way of having a conversation. There is no rush, so let the interviewer fully finish their thought before speaking up.
Don’t Talk Too Much
Avoid going off on tangents and stick to the questions at hand. It is very likely that the interviewer has many phone interviews to get through, so stay memorable by showing your capability to remain short, sweet, and effective.
Written By: O. Greendyk