Many companies start their hiring process with a phone interview. No matter how strong your resume or internal company relationships, under-preparing for a phone interview can give the impression that you don’t care or aren’t interested in a job. So take time to prepare! Here are five tips to help you ace your phone interview:
- Prepare: It is so important to prepare for a phone interview more than five minutes before your cell rings. In addition to practicing your responses to expected questions, you need to make sure your phone is fully charged and you are in an area with clear reception.
- Make a cheat sheet: Take advantage of the fact that this is a phone interview and make a cheat sheet of information about the company and job you’re interviewing for. Review the qualifications of the job description, and create bullet points as to how your experience matches up. Prepare a list of 4-6 questions, prioritized, that you would like to ask the interviewer. Also have your resume handy, so you have plenty of talking points and won’t be caught off guard.
- Pick a good environment: You need to make sure that once you answer the phone for your interview, you will not be distracted in any way. Do your best to be a in room by yourself and warn your family or roommates that you need peace and quiet. Put a noisy pet outside or in another area of the house. Turn off the TV.
- Speak loud and clear: It can be easy to mumble or speak too softly on the phone, so make sure you speak loudly and clearly when you’re talking to your interviewer. Some find it helpful to stand up during the phone interview because they are able to project more confidence. It also doesn’t hurt to smile while you’re on the phone because it helps you sound enthusiastic and interested.
- Get follow-up information: Before you end your phone call, be sure to get the contact information of the person you spoke to, so you can send a thank you note in writing. This is also a good way to end the conversation on a positive note.
For additional information on preparing for a phone interview, we recommend the Job Search Resources of About.com.