Phone interviews are becoming more and more common as initial touch points. They help both the interviewer and you, as the interviewee, see if you’re a good fit for the position— without wasting time arranging an in-office meet up.
These telephone interviews are convenient to have over a lunch break, or around busy schedules. But while these quick chats can seem breezy and easy, they create an important first-impression and can be tricky to ace.
Here’s a few ways you can prepare for a phone interview, helping to guarantee a second interview.
Be In-Person Ready
Because phone interviews are auditory and don’t require visual interaction, many interviewees mistakenly under prepare. They answer the call in their loungewear, with only a pen and paper and a go-with-the-flow attitude. This laxed vibe can carry into your interview, making you less sharp or engaged. Plus, screaming kids and other at home distractions can threaten your professionalism.
We suggest preparing for your phone interview as if it were an in-person interview to set the mood. Get dressed and style your hair, sit at a desk upright (locked away in a private, quiet room) and pour a glass of water to prevent dry mouth. Gather your resources: your resume, the role’s job description and how it compares to your skills, any data you have about your past performance or prompts to help you answer common interview questions, like your greatest weakness.
You have the advantage of being able to read directly from these resources without the interviewer knowing, perhaps taking some of the pressure off of the traditional “on-the-spot” discussion. In this way, preparation for a phone interview can benefit you even greater than an in-person chat.
Understand the Company Culture
Before your phone interview, do your homework. Head over to their website and look at their “About Us” page for hints of what’s important to the team. Check out their social media profiles, perusing pictures, videos, posts, blogs, or any content that reveals a few things about their company culture and brand.
If you find a set of core values, see if they align with your own. Note one or two that really stand out and be sure to mention these traits or characteristics in your phone interview, to demonstrate you share these values.
There’s certain interview questions you can ask to see if a company is a good culture fit too. These prompts can help you decipher if the business genuinely fits your mold, and can help you spot signs of a bad company culture, like no other traditional interview tips can.
Match the Job Description to Tangible Results
Because you’ll be able to reference the job description right in front of you, print it out and scribble notes in the margins. The idea is that you have something to show for every requirement or preferred attributes they have listed.
Write down a keyword or term to prompt yourself to talk about the evidence, whether that’s data to show you brought in X amount of new sales or a testimonial from a trusted industry professional.
Remember to focus less on skills and more on results. While anyone can assert they have a skill, not everyone can prove it. Those who come prepared to their phone interview with metrics and proof, show the interviewer they came prepared and can deliver on their talents.
Make Up for the Lack of Body Language
While you might think that you don’t have to worry about body language mistakes, like you would in an in-person interview, a lack of physical awareness on your call can actually work against you.
During the phone interview, be sure to still smile when you talk. Smiling can change the tone of your voice naturally, and help to lift your mood. Also, be mindful to enunciate clearly on the phone, as your interview won’t be able to see your mouth to help them determine what you said if your diction was sloppy.
Your voice is leaving the impression here, so recognize how your volume, tone and word choice affect your standing. It can also be easier to mistakenly interrupt an interviewer over the phone, since you don’t see them taking a breath to speak. Make sure you listen when they talk and wait for a natural pause or prompt to respond.
Get to Know your Interviewer Before the Call
Wouldn’t it be great to know your interviewer on more of a personal level before the call? While these phone interview tips can help you prepare, there’s nothing quite like having a comfortable relationship with the person going in.
With GoGig, we match employers with prospects based on their personalities, not just job requirements. That means you’ll be more likely to get along with the person on your call, or at least understand the spirit of the company’s culture, before your phone interview.
Best of all: your personality profile is quick and easy to set up— and free. Sign up to make your GoGig profile, today!