The 3 Best Phone Interview Tips
You did it! They were intrigued by your resume and now you have a phone interview! Are you nervous? Don’t be! You don’t want any nervousness to come through over the phone. Just take a deep breath and read a few tips below.
1. Prepare: What to Do
It goes without saying that you should prepare for any type of interview, right? But here I am, saying it. It’s just that there’s a lot to prepare and sometimes you might forget a thing or two…or at least that’s how I am. Having a list helps me, so I made one for you!
Prepare the meeting area
Do you have a dog that barks? Kids that might make random noises because that’s what kids do? A nosy coworker who will poke their head in your office “to see if everything’s alright?” If you’re thinking of taking the call inside or outside, don’t forget to consider possible background noise.
A lot of people take phone interviews in their car, of course not on a Bluetooth and certainly not while driving. In a car you can control the environment, and you have space for all of your stuff. Which brings me to…
Besides the obvious copy of your resume, I also suggest having a copy of the job description printed. Review this before the interview begins so you can focus on your skills and how that will translate into the companies needs.
2. Phone Etiquette: What to Say (or Not to Say)
Phone etiquette is not as common as it once was, but I assure you the hiring manager recognizes and rewards proper etiquette. There are three major points here:
Have a professional – or at least a semi-professional – outgoing message on your voicemail. “Yo, its “insert name”, don’t leave me a message. Just text me!” is not a proper message. Neither is the system greeting, however I will overlook the latter before the former.
“Hello, you’ve reached the voicemail for “insert your name”. I’m unable to answer your call at this time, but please leave your name, phone number and I’ll get back to you shortly.”
This is all, no need to overthink it.
Since you’re likely expecting the call for the interview, I wouldn’t suggest just saying “hello” to answer. Personally, I think people should answer the phone with, “Hello, this is (inset name).” Normally the caller will respond with their own greeting in which they identify themselves. Saying “hello” instead opens it up to that whole, “Is so-and-so there?” “This is so-and-so” nonsense. Just skip all of that and get down to business!
I’ve noticed people simply saying “Okay, thanks!” and hanging up at the end of a call, but this is not at all professional. It also isn’t awesome to be like, “Okay, bye!” although if you nailed the rest of the call, the Hiring Manager might just be like, “Bye!” and no big deal.
To end the call properly, I would suggest a polite and professional close. “Thank you so much for your time today Kathy.” If they mentioned the next step during your interview, the close is actually the time to show them you were listening and are invested. “I’ll be watching for your email next week.” And then, close. “Take care!” Or if it’s Friday and you’re laid back, “Enjoy your weekend!”
3. Ending Strong
This is probably a no-brainer, much like being prepared, but sometimes the phone interview can be so whirlwind, the interviewer doesn’t even remember to ask if you have any other questions because they’re already starting to think of their next appointment. It’s important to pull them back into the present and end strong. “Great! I just have a couple questions before you go. Do you have a moment?” No respectful person will respond with, “No I do NOT have a moment! Good day!”
Just like you would follow up after an in person interview, you’ll want to send an email after your phone interview. Use this as a chance to perfect any answers you may have felt needed clarification as well as express your interest and thank the interviewer. This is also a good time to attach anything additional you had omitted when you initially applied, such as your references.
Now go on and do your best with that phone interview!