Surviving the Phone Interview

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Most people do much better in a face to face interview, but often times, a phone interview is required as a first step. Use these tips to make your phone interview as successful as possible.

  • Do your research. Take a few minutes to research the company and the position before your call and make sure that you know the name of the person(s) who will be calling so that you can address them by name. If additional people are on the call that you weren’t expecting, write their names down when they introduce themselves, so that you can remember later.
  • Be prepared. Make sure that you are in a quiet place where you get good reception and that your battery is fully charged. If you choose to give a home line or a line that others have access to, make sure that the line is open at the time of the call. Have a notepad and a pen so that you can take notes if necessary.
  • Be enthusiastic and friendly. This may not be as easy to convey over the phone as it is in person. The interviewer cannot see your big smile or your positive body language. However, starting off with something like, “Hi Bob! I’m glad you called!” can definitely help. Also, telling the interviewer directly that you are very interested in the position is always a good idea.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. Once again, all they have here is your voice. Make sure that they can understand your great answers.
  • Let them take control. They are most likely on a tight schedule and have a list of questions that they need to ask before the end of the call. Answer their questions and be friendly, but don’t try to steer the call in a totally different direction.
  • Don’t be too conscious of time. They will end the call when they need to. Giving super short answers and then stating that they probably need to get off the call makes it look like you want to get off the call and aren’t interested.
  • Ask what the next steps are. Although they may not give you the straightforward answer that you are looking for, asking shows interest. In addition, we will ask you how they ended the call. What they said to you may not mean much to you, but we may interpret it differently based on past experiences with the client.

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