Now more than ever, phone interviewers are becoming incredibly popular with employers and recruiters. Phone interviewers can be used as a way to adapt to at home working, or just a convenient method of interview for both you and the interviewer. No matter what the reason it is important to know how to ace a phone interview.
So, how can you master your next phone interview? Here are our top tips on how to prepare for and master phone interviews.
We’ll cover how to prepare for interview questions, how to build a relationship with the interviewer and what to expect throughout.
Before the interview: Preparation is key!
Like any other job interview it is vital that you are as prepared as you can be. Preparedness not only reflects dedication and suitability for a role, it can also put you at ease and allow you to answer questions clearly and confidently.
There are many ways to prepare for a phone interview, possibly the most important way is to research the company beforehand. Often, the interviewer is deciding whether or not you are the right fit for their team, researching the company and discussing this knowledge in the interview reflects your preparedness and dedication to the role. Additionally, interviewers may be more conversational when discussing their own company, so it is best to have a few topics ready to discuss. This involves, if possible, knowing who is calling you whether it be the manager or a head of department, there you can do more research into their area of expertise and bring that into the discussion.
There are also things you can do before the interview to ensure the technology side of the interview goes as smoothly as possible. First, make sure your phone is fully charged before the interview! This is incredibly important; you wouldn’t want to be part way through making an excellent point and have your phone cut out on you! Additionally, make sure you have your notifications turned off, the added noise of your phone receiving messages or emails could be distracting for both you and the interviewer. Finally, have a pen and paper or a laptop at the ready to take notes during your interview. This may seem small and unimportant but often in an interview, your nerves or the pace of the interview may mean you forget important information once it is over. It is always handy to make notes so you can refer back to them after your interview.
Create a comfortable environment!
A phone interview is just as important as any other type of interview. In order to ensure you are focused solely on the interview try to make sure you are in a quiet environment. If the area is loud or you are on the go it may suggest to the interviewer that the interview is not your number one priority. This could reflect badly on your dedication to the role. If this is not possible for whatever reason, apologise to the interviewer early on about the background noise or possible interruptions and make clear that they will not distract you from your focus, the interview.
Try to have the interview in an environment comfortable to you. The great thing about phone interviews is that you can do them from your own home, or somewhere you find relaxing! This is a brilliant way to calm your nerves during the interview as the familiar environment can be relaxing.
Speak clearly and be conversational.
Unlike in person interviews, phone interviews are unlikely to be in a group setting, this means it will only be you and the interviewer. It is important to build a rapport with the interviewer early on to ensure the conversation goes as smoothly as possible. Try to be as conversational as possible. Before the interview begins it is always a good idea to ask them how they are and create some small talk, like you would in an in-person interview. Even though the interviewer cannot see you, it doesn’t mean they cannot pick up on your tone of voice through the phone, try to smile when talking – this may feel silly but smiling can encourage a positive tone of voice which then reflects positively on you.
It can be harder on the phone to pick up on social queues as you’re unable to read the interviewers facial expressions and body language, try to be patient and listen first and then talk. This shows dedication and focus to the interviewer and the questions they are asking.
Have your CV and the job description at the ready.
A benefit of a phone interview is that you can keep your notes and your CV in front of you throughout. It can be easy during the stress of an interview to forget key points, having your CV and notes Infront of you can be highly beneficial as you can continuously refer to it and check you have mentioned everything you planned to. Additionally, the interviewer is likely to have your CV in front of them. Therefore, they will be able to see exactly what roles and abilities you are referencing when you are outlining your suitability for the role.
Before the interview, make sure you have the job description handy, often a portion of the interview is dedicated to discussing what is expected in the role. It is a good idea to have some understanding of this beforehand, not only does this prove to the interviewer that you have done your research, it can also help you ask any questions you may have about what will be expected of you.
Ask some questions!
If you don’t ask, you don’t get...
Lastly, ask some questions! It is common for interviewers to ask at the end of an interview if you have any questions for them. Utilise this opportunity! This is a great way to get a better feel of the role and whether or not the job and company are for you. If you’re stuck on what questions to ask, why not check out our blog post titled ‘The Best Questions to ask at the end of an Interview’ for more help!
Another great benefit of a phone interview is that you can note down the answers to these questions during (with the pen and paper mentioned earlier on) so you can go back to them later on. This means you can leave the interview with a detailed understanding of the role and whether or not it is the right role for you!
Finally, good luck! The interview process can be a scary experience, but every interview, successful or not, adds to your experience and builds up your expertise! We hope this helped when preparing for your next phone interview.
If you’re still looking to advance your interview skills further, why not checkout our blog post The Good Candidate… How to Stand Out From Other Applicants for more interview and application tips!