Profitable Tips How To Win Phone Interview
Your resume was effective enough and put forward the neat things that caught the hiring manager’s attention. Congratulations! So, what’s next, an actual interview? Not always.
In today’s turbulent rhythm of life, more and more employers use phone interviews as an intermediate stage between resume screening and in-person interview. Hiring managers see a phone interview as a way to narrow down a pool of candidates and save their time. Moreover, this can be an only interview you will have if you have applied for a remote position.
The peculiarities of a phone interview
If you don’t see a phone interview as a ‘real’ interview and believe that you can hold it in a relaxed way, you’re totally wrong. A phone interview requires you to be more self-collected and focused than in-person interview to make it to the next round. The matter is, as the hiring manger doesn’t see you, they can’t evaluate your body language, your appearance, so the answers you will give and your tone will be the only grounding for evaluating your candidacy.
Tips to excel in a job interview
- Prepare as thoroughly as for in-person interview
Again, a phone interview must be taken even more serious than in-person interview. So, prepare for it just like if you were preparing for a job interview in person: do a research about the company and its goals, think of your answers to standard and tricky questions, and consider using stress-reduction techniques if necessary.
- Be ready for a phone call anytime
If you’re in the middle of a job search process, it means that your phone can ring anytime. So, keep it out of reach of kids and fully charged.
There are two types of phone interviews: scheduled and unscheduled. If the prospective employers gets in touch to conduct an unscheduled interview, try scheduling it at another time by saying that you can’t give the call the needed attention straightaway.
- Create a list of smart interview questions
Although it’s the hiring manager who sets up the tone of the conversation, it doesn’t mean you should be passive. The interview questions (you can find some samples and free interview tips here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/top-15-questions-to-end-the-interview-with) work it two ways: first, they need to demonstrate your genuine interest in a position and impress the interviewer. Secondly, they will help you to find out whether the position really aligns with your career goals.
- Prepare a quiet, comfortable environment
As soon as the interview starts, you want to be sure that no one will be interrupting you. Switch off the TV and ask your family to stay out of the room for a while. Have a sheet with information about the company and your interview questions at hand – they will be helpful if you forget something due to the stress. Also, make sure you have a pen and a clean paper sheet nearby in case you need to make notes.
- Make sure your voice sounds confident when you describe yourself
As you are unable to send nonverbal signals during the phone interview, your voice is the only tool you can impress the hiring manager with. Prepare a glass of water so you wouldn’t have to clear up your throat during the conversation. If you haven’t talked for several hours, Google a few voice exercises to do. Keep in mind that your posture and facial expression affects the voice too, so lying on a couch during the phone screening isn’t the best idea. Sit straight or stand, and smile – surprising, but it’s in this position that your voice sounds positively and with confidence.
- Take 1-2 seconds before answering the interviewer’s question
Sometimes interviewers ask the question and then continue talking rather than waiting for you to answer. In this case, if you and the hiring manger start talking at once, it will make you feel awkward which is poor phone etiquette. So, prior to actually giving an answer, wait a short pause. Moreover, it will help you focus and give a thoughtful answer rather than blurt out something that just came to your mind.
- Speak slowly and follow your pronunciation
During the call, make sure the interviewer hears you clearly. It also makes sense to speak a little louder than you usually do. If the interviewer fails to hear some words, it can affect the result of the interview.
- End the interview on a positive note
Obviously, it’s the hiring manager who dominates during the conversation and sets the interview tone. Still, you should take the initiative to end the interview positively. Thank the hiring manager for their time and express your lasting interest in the job. Also, ask them about the next step of the interviewing process and when you can follow up to check the status of your application.
If you cannot give the call the needed attention, reschedule the interview
The ideal scenario is when the recruiter calls you and conduct the telephone interview immediately. But things aren’t always this simple. If the interview wasn’t scheduled, you may be on the street with lots of background noise, or in the office with lots of tasks from your boss pending. In this case, ask to reschedule this initial phone interview. Most recruiters will show understanding to your situation, especially if you give them a solid excuse.
Keep a resume, job description and a cover letter at hand
The hiring manager will ask you phone interview questions based on what they see on your resume. So, keep all job searching documents open on your computer or printed so that you’re literally on the same page with the interviewer. Review the company site and the job posting once again. Thus, you’ll evaluate the company culture better and prepare thoughtful questions with all the details of the target job in mind.
Be prepared to talk about salary expectations
Normally, the interviewer asks about salary at the latter stages of the hiring process. But they may ask about your expectations to eliminate candidates and invite fewer people to in-person interviews. So, how do you handle this? Research the average salary for a new job and answer them with a range. Mention that you are ready to negotiate the salary further during the face to face interview.
Ask about the next steps of the job interview process
At the end of the interview, it’s time to ask your own questions. Always ask about the next steps – in how many days they’ll get back to you, and how many final interviews before they make a decision. When you ask about the upcoming interviews, you send them a message that you’re interested in a role.
Be ready to hear behavioral interview questions
Chances are, the interviewer will ask you a behavioral interview question to see how you handled the tough situations in a past. You need to answer honestly, as an experienced recruiter will quickly spot a lie. Use a STAR model: describe the situation, give a detailed message about the steps you took and the results you managed to achieve. If the interviewer hear a detailed answer, they will be satisfied.
Practice answering the interview questions
Phone interview skills are gained through practice. If you don’t feel confident giving interview answers on the cell phone, take some time to rehearse. Answer common phone interview questions to family members or a friend. Prepare questions and organize a mock interview at home. Make sure that you talk slowly and confidently, and avoid filler words.
If you feel too stress, consider working with a career coach. They will help you improve communication skills and ace the next phone interview.
We hope that this cheat sheet with phone interview tips will help you better score on the next job interviews. They work for video interviews as well.
What if you get too little interview invitations? Most likely, this means that your resume isn’t optimized for ATS and therefore looks irrelevant to your future boss. Or, it has some issues and mistakes that turn off the hiring manager once they read it. To understand what might be the problem with your resume, send it to us for a free evaluation. It typically takes our consultants a few days to respond, but you can order the same day resume critique at the extra pay.
What to do after phone interviews?
Once you’ve put the phone aside and left the interview space, it’s no time to wait for a response patiently. Here’s what you can do:
Keep searching for your dream job
It’s great if you can answer questions of the phone interview with brilliance. But keep in mind that it isn’t even a real interview (rather the initial screening) so it doesn’t guarantee a job. No matter what your job title is, here’s our advice: keep attending interviews until you have a job offer at hand. Maybe, you like some particular company, but don’t focus on it completely. The more jobs you apply for the more options you’ll have to choose from. And you will be able to select the one that appeals to you best.
- Send a thank you note after the interview
In less than 24 hours (but not instantly after the phone call) do send a thank you letter to confirm your interest in a job. You can reiterate some important points you’ve made during the conversation and highlight why you will make a great candidacy. Sometimes a well-written thank you note can help the hiring manager make a decision in your favor.
- Don’t scam the hiring manager with emails
Even if you are highly interested in a job, no need to bother the company’s representative with phone calls and emails. This can have an opposite effect. It’s a good idea to follow up in a week, if otherwise was not specified by the hiring manager. Indicate your continuing interest in a position and point out you’d be delighted to meet during in-person interview. After that, leave the situation up to them.
The phone interview only allows you to make a good impression with your voice, so make sure you sound confident. And, if you’ve done all necessary preparation and took care of the atmosphere for a phone interview, everything should go well.