Do you give good phone

Do you give good phone?

A first-round, or qualifying interview conducted by phone is commonplace these days.  If you are not well-prepared these interviews can feel awkward because you do not have some of the benefits of a physical interview to work with, such as making a visual impression, the use of body language, and the chit-chat that comes before and after a ‘live’ interview.  Here then are a few tips to help prepare yourself for a phone interview;
  • Do your homework- Make sure you have studied the company you are hoping to work for; research their website and pay particular attention to their ‘about us’ page and how they target their market.  Gathering this information will make you stand out because you took the time to gain knowledge about the company and will be in a position to ask your interviewer some solid questions as well.
  • Have your own notes ready- A little crib sheet with your answers to some common questions can take you a long way in appearing composed and confident during a phone interview.  Set up an outline with bullet points that you can glance at to make sure you are staying on topic, and to make sure you are not leaving any important points out of your answers.
  • Have your questions ready- An interview is truly a two-way street; you should be prepared to ask a few questions about the company and about the position you are interested in.  As mentioned above; the company website is a good place to find fodder for questions about the company, and a good question about the position itself may be asking about the person who just vacated the job; were they promoted? Is this a new position created by company growth? Getting the interviewer to answer questions too is a good way to make the interview feel more personal, more conversational.
  • Have your resume next to you- Make sure you have a copy of the same version your interviewer is looking at- they will be referencing dates and prior positions throughout the interview and you will want to be able to respond to exactly what they’re looking at.
  • Have your calendar next to you- If you do well, you will be scheduling either another phone interview or a face-to-face interview and you can not be fiddling around trying to figure out when you’re available.  “Let me check my schedule and call you back” is not an acceptable answer…
  • Take equal control of the call- If it sounds like the interviewer is trying to close the call but you still have more to say or ask, say something like, “If you have just a few more minutes, you mentioned a couple things that I would like to talk more about…”  Don’t take more than another 5 minutes because your interviewer probably has another interview scheduled right after yours, but it gives you an opportunity to make sure you’ve asked everything you want to ask, then allows you to give them a brief but well thought out closing statement.  You should have your closing statement in your notes as well.