How to Make a Great Impression on a Phone Interview
Oftentimes, employers receive resumes from far too many qualified candidates to bring in for an interview, so they conduct an initial phone screening to find the top prospects. If you’ve been invited to participate in a phone interview, your resume and cover letter have clearly made an impression. Now it’s time to continue that sentiment by presenting yourself as a perfectly polished candidate over the phone
You might deliver the best responses of any candidate, but if the person on the other end of the phone can’t hear you, it’s all for nothing. Kids screaming, dogs barking, and loud traffic in the background will definitely not impress the interviewer, so prior to the call, find a quiet place where you can talk without any distractions. From the interviewer’s prospective, if you can’t even focus on a call that can make or break your chances of getting the job, you probably won’t make work much of a priority either.
Use a Landline
Cell phone service can be spotty, so if possible, conduct your call on a landline. If you don’t have one at your disposal, be sure to test the spot you’ve selected prior to the interview to make sure you have a strong signal. Calls filled with static or those dropped altogether will do nothing to help your chances of getting the job.
Prepare as If You Were Meeting in Person
Many people make the mistake of assuming a phone interview is just an informal chat; this is far from the case. Prior to the interview, make the same preparations you would for an in-person meeting — research the company, formulate responses to common interview questions, and come up with a list of intelligent questions to ask at the end of the interview. If you don’t take this seriously, you won’t make it to the next round.
Align Yourself With the Proper Tools
One major advantage of a phone interview is you can place helpful information right under your nose. Pull the company website up on your laptop and put a copy of your resume in front of you for reference. Of course, you don’t want to read from these documents or risk having the interviewer hear you clicking around, so don’t rely too heavily on these items.
Smile While You’re Talking
Whether or not you choose to smile during a phone interview may seem irrelevant since the interviewer can’t see you, but it really does make a difference. It’s true that your smile won’t be seen, but its existence will fill your voice with enthusiasm and passion for the work, which is sure to make a positive impact on the interviewer.
Just as you would with a traditional interview, send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the call to the interviewer and to reiterate your interest in the job.
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