Step Your Game Up! Tips on Getting Better at Phone Interviews

Because the hiring process often moves at lightning speed and companies receive hundreds of applicants, more and more employers are implementing phone interviews into their hiring process.  Since phone interviews are generally brief, they save companies time and serve as a realistic screening to narrow down the candidate pool.

As a job seeker, the first time talking with a hiring manager can be nerve-wrecking.  However, in order to move along in the hiring process, you must treat the phone screen as a serious interview.

5 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Moving to the Next Round of the Interview Process

Do your background research.
Treat the preparation process for a phone interview as you would for an in person interview.  Research the company, study the job description, and practice your responses to common interview questions.  Learn all about the organization, the person interviewing you, their successes and concerns.  Be prepared to explain why you are the best fit for the job.   If you’ve done your research, the recruiter will be able to tell that you’re prepared for the interview and serious about wanting the job.

Exercise your voice before the interview.
As silly as it may feel, it’s important to warm up your voice before the phone call.  Doing so will help you sound clear, confident, and rejuvenated.  The interviewer can’t pick up on visual cues or body language, so your pitch and tone are extremely important when you’re on the phone.  Professional speakers do voice exercises before speaking, and you should too. Preparing your voice will also help calm your nerves.

Prepare a space.
Before the call, make sure you have everything you’ll need during the conversation—your cover letter, resume, a set of questions to ask—spread out in front of you, so you don’t have to search around while you’re on the phone.  Take the call from a quiet space where there won’t be background noise or interruptions.  Making sure the space feels professional, will help put you in the right mind set and make you feel empowered.  Doing a phone interview in your pajamas from your couch is not recommended from a psychological standpoint. Studies have shown that the people who dress professionally for phone interviews perform better than those lounging on their couch.

Don’t talk too much.
Just like the interviewer can’t read your non-verbal cues, you can’t read theirs.  When talking in person, you can see the interviewer adjusting their posture or averting their gaze when they get bored with your answer.  Because you can’t pick up on these things over the phone, it’s better to be concise when answering questions.  As a general rule, watch the clock and limit answers to 35 or 45 seconds.  The interviewer will ask you to elaborate if they want to know more.

Follow up.
Remember to follow up with a thank you e-mail within 24 to 48 hours of the phone interview. Many candidates make the mistake of thinking this is only necessary after an in person interview.  Include concrete details from on your conversation, about the ways in which you would contribute to the company if you got the job.  Ask the interviewer if there is any additional information they need from you in order to move forward.  Use this opportunity to request an in-person meeting.  It will let the interviewer know you’re interested in the job and are taking an initiative to get it. 

Put these phone interview tips into practice by talking to our experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing.  At BOS Staffing, we guide job seekers through every step of the hiring process, from application to offer, and help them access the hidden job market – the jobs that never get posted. Contact us today and we won’t rest until we’ve found the perfect opportunity for you.

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