6 Tips to Rock a Phone Interview

I don’t know about you, but I hate really dislike phone interviews. I’m an awkward phone talker in general, so having to answer questions over the phone makes me slightly uncomfortable. Not to mention, you never can really tell how you’re doing. Body language is so important during interviews and you miss out on that when it’s over the phone. However, sometimes an in-person interview just really wouldn’t work. For example, if you’re applying to a job across the country chances are you’ll be chatting over the phone to see if you’re a good fit before you ever hop on that plane and change your life.

The phone interview: your best friend or your worst enemy?

The phone interview: your best friend or your worst enemy?

I’ve had my fair share of phone interviews including one on Tuesday (that hopefully went well for a consulting job). Each time I do one I get better and better at it. Practice does make perfect, right? Even so, it’s still never easy. Here are some tips to help you rock a phone interview and land the job of your dreams (or at least an in-person interview)!

  1. Prepare like it’s an in-person interview. This means research the company, look over the job description again, and have a list of questions ready to ask. Just because you’re not face-to-face with the person doesn’t mean you won’t need to know the same things. A well-prepared interviewee can succeed whether it’s done in-person, over the phone, or through Skype. The more prepared you are, the better you will feel during and after the process.
  2. Pick a quiet place. Make sure wherever you are having your phone interview is quiet and you won’t be interrupted. Nothing is worse, and more unprofessional, than having to shush people (or your dog-yes, my dog likes to bark when I’m on the phone) during this critical time. Find a nice quiet spot that allows you to think clearly and focus on the conversation and your goals.
  3. Dress like you’re going to an interview. I know it can be hard to put on your interview clothes when you don’t have to leave the house, but you should anyway! I made sure to keep my work clothes on Tuesday when I got home for my phone call. Why? Because being in professional clothing puts you in a professional mindset. If you’re interviewing while in your pjs laying on the couch, you may not focus and the interview (on your end) could because too lax. You want to sound professional and well-spoken, not like you’re lounging around in your yoga pants. Take that extra two minutes to put on some nice clothes.
  4. Stand up. Similar to dressing nicely, stand up during your interview and smile. It’ll raise your energy level up and put you in a better mindset. Think and act confidently, not lazy and uninterested.
  5. Listen closely and take notes. Because you won’t be able to see the interviewer’s body language, listen closely for key words and pay attention to their tone of voice. You should also listen for specific questions they ask that you can refer to later. Don’t let yourself get distracted like when you talk to your friends. Instead, actively take notes in preparation for your follow-up.
  6. Follow-up. Make sure to follow-up with the interviewer by sending a nice thank you e-mail. This should include specifics about the interview (which is why listening is so important) and a few ways you will contribute to the company. One final push for yourself never hurts!

Now it’s your turn! Have you ever done a phone interview? What tips do you have to rock it?


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