During interview preparation I often hear candidates say that they perceive a phone interview as being easier than an onsite interview because they do not need to invest the same amount of time preparing. Although it is true that an onsite interview will have you most likely meeting more than one interviewer, additional preparation is required. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t treat a phone interview with the same level of commitment as you would an onsite. I repeatedly hear from hiring managers that the candidate sounded tired, disengaged, distracted or even bored on the phone. Getting into the proper frame of mind for your phone interview is vital. When possible, call from a landline as poor cell reception will not help in conveying your message.
Remember, with a phone interview, the hiring manager has nothing else to go on other than your conversation and how you present yourself with the content of your answers, the quality of your questions, your tone, and your ability to communicate and engage the hiring manager. These factors will determine whether or not they will move forward with you. So if you seem to be distracted or provide lackluster answers and are not engaging on the call you will more than likely not be invited back for the second round.
Below are Tips on Phone Interviews and a link to our Interview preparation page.
- Don’t look in the mirror
- Have a notepad to take notes
- Look at a photograph of your interviewer while you’re on the phone
- Don’t talk too much, be mindful of the time you have and give clear concise answers.
- Have your resume in front of your in the event you are asked to discuss specifics on your experience
- Don’t get too comfortable in the room, stand during the interview and make sure you are free of all distractions
- Dress up in your professional clothes
- Schedule the interview for a time of day when you’re most at your A-game
- Prepare 3 days in advance. This should include conducting research on the company and being able to explain what you can contribute to their organization.
- Have at least three questions prepared for the hiring manager and share them with colleagues or your recruiter to make sure you are comfortable with them
Even if the phone interview is with HR or someone you perceive as “less important” in the decision making process, you still need to prepare and treat the call as if you were talking with the hiring manager.