Asked by Laura on March 18, 2016
Answered by Dan, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on March 21, 2016
Congrats on your upcoming phone interview! Telephone interviews can make people nervous, but remember if all goes well the next step is a face-to-face interview. So it is best to be focused, a positive mindset in place, and prepared for the phone interview just like it is for a face-to- face interview.
Before the telephone interview make sure you clarify the details. Since you may not be in the same time zone as the interviewer (more common than you think), be sure to clarify the time of the interview in both your time zone and the other, and confirm who is calling whom. Use notes to your advantage: The best part about a phone interview is that you can have your notes in front of you. So have a copy of your resume and application, extensive bullet points of you want to mention (particular experience and/ or skills), and full list of questions written out ahead of time for use during the interview. Also, make sure you are in a quiet place with a charged phone and a glass of water. If you have time, it might be worth it to run home to take the call from your apartment, rather than trying to find a spot to do it from your office/car. Also, keep your phone charger handy, just in case the interview is going so well.
During your telephone interview, remember to be happy and confident. If you are relaxed and smile while speaking, it will allow you to give positive answers and sound confident. Always best to impress the employer with your enthusiasm. Next is to be professional, you may feel comfortable at home or outside having the interview. However, one is more likely to become distracted, try avoid doing what you may normally do on the phone. So put away distractions and focused on the phone call. To help one do so, stand up and take note. Standing and walking around can help your voice come across more effectively and shows that you have good communication skills. If at all possible, attempt to avoid words like “umm” as it can imply that nerves affect you. Finally and most important, make sure you are listening! Whenever your interviewer is speaking, do not interrupt them. Wait for them to ask the whole of the question before jumping in with an answer to show that you have good listening skills, and it also allows you to think of the most suitable answer,
After the interview, it is best to follow up with a thank you, just like you would in a face-to-face interview. And I also think it's nice, if an assistant set up the call, to send a quick note thanking him or her for helping facilitate the interview. Good Luck!
Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on March 23, 2016
Interviews of any type can be nerve-wracking. The key to sounding confident is knowing what you are talking about...you. The interview is about you, what your story is and what you want out of a career. There is nothing that they are going to ask you in a professional interview with a reputable company that should be a shock to you. Review your resume, make sure to note for each position a key deliverable/accomplishment that you have achieved, list out what you feel your strengths are and what opportunities for development you have and your plan to address those opportunities. Ensure that you have something to drink and are dressed comfortably and in a place where you can hear and not be distracted. Good luck!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on March 24, 2016
The key to sounding confident on a phone interview is the same as sounding confident in any setting - having a strong knowledge of your subject matter. While there is uncertainty around what will be discussed in a phone interview, you can help to alleviate this by doing extensive prep work for the interview. This would include doing a great deal of research on the company. Comb their web site and other parts of the internet for information about their goals, strategies, and struggles. Use this information to prepare questions that you will ask, but this information could also help you to give your responses to their questions. Regarding their questions, do a Google search for possible internet questions and think about potential responses. Keep in mind, the questions in phone interviews will likely not be as in depth as those from an in person interview. Your responses and how you give those responses will be what leads to an in-person interview.
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on March 24, 2016
For most positions today a phone interview is the first step in the interview process that will hopefully lead to an on-site interview. It’s important to take it seriously and be prepared! I would suggest researching the company, get to know more about what they do and come prepare with questions. Make sure to double check the job description you are interviewing for so that you can highlight your experience and how it relates to the position. Also get mentally ready make sure you’re well rested, materials ready in front of you such as your resume, pen and paper to take notes. Make sure to have your phone on or in front of you 5 minutes before the call. This may sound a little silly but dressing the part may even help too! When I had a phone interview I actually got dressed for my phone interview just to build my confidence. It works! Make sure there are no distractions like the TV or background noise. Find a quiet place and sit at a desk or kitchen table instead of the couch. Hopefully being prepared and doing your homework will help build your confidence! Good Luck!
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on March 24, 2016
Oh the joys of the telephone interview! You get to make a first impression, you get to relax in the space of your choosing and you just might do these things while wearing your comfiest pants! Downside, you don't get to wow the interviewer with your amazing facial expressions and stylized gestures! HA!
So whether it is on the phone or in person many of the same rules apply. Be prepared, practice, and know who you are talking to. Prep work...Your resume is your blueprint. Know it and be prepared to give real life examples of the concepts you want to highlight. Think about situations when you are coming up with your examples of the work you've done and how you have handled different types of adversity.
Familiarize yourself with the job description and what the company you are interviewing with has told you they are looking for. Then take that next step to get to know the company and use the internet for one of its most awesome capabilities...research! You have a chance to have a look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who already work for your company of interest. What are the key skills and experiences they list?
Now...you are armed with information. Feel confident yet? If not, have a quick look at interview techniques and ask someone to ask you questions. Answer them just as you would in a real interview. Write down the topics you come up with that you think work. Bullet out some key words that you want to make sure you weave into your responses.
You've go this!