Many companies are have a phone interview as a vital part of their job application process. Phone screens are typically one of the first steps to a job interview, followed by a Skype/Webex/Zoom call and possibly, an in-office visit (though this is likely on pause, due to COVID). There are many pros and cons to having a phone interview. This post is about the 3 simple steps you can take to rock your phone interview and move forward in the job application process.
When I was going through my post-grad job hunt, I went through a ton of phone interviews. It’s safe to say that my first couple of phone interviews were probably not my strongest ones. After some time, I figured out the most important steps in the preparation and process of a phone interview. Now, I’m sharing them with you!
Here are the 3 simple steps to rock your phone interview:
1. Do NOT answer your phone with, “Hello?”
Almost everyone answers their phones with, “Hello?” I’m telling you now that this is the one time you do NOT want to do this.
Even though this is a phone interview, first impressions are still going to matter! When your interviewer calls you, you’ll need to make sure you give a good, solid first impression right away. Don’t have them go through the hassle of asking for you on the phone.
Answer your phone by saying, “Hi, this is __your name__ speaking.”
Then, let them introduce themselves, and ask about how their day was. This is a great way to build rapport and break the ice. You’ll be surprised how many people never ask about how someone else’s day is!
2. Vary the tone of your voice
It’s one thing to smile when speaking on camera, but another to make sure that you SOUND passionate and excited.
For this step, it might help to record yourself answering a few interview questions. Listen to your voice and ask yourself, “Do I sound passionate? Do I sound like I’m interested–and interesting?”
Because your interviewer cannot see you, you’ll want to make sure that your personality carries through the phone on your voice!
Recruiters interview dozens of people each day. If you sound bored, that’s going to carry through and affect their mood, too. If they enjoyed talking to you, they’ll leave the conversation with a good impression of you!
3. Do your research and structure your answers with STAR
It’s SO easy to start blabbering as you answer your interview questions. This is one thing you definitely don’t want to do. I recommend checking out the STAR method. You should go back to your resume and write a list of your work experiences down. Make sure you can use the STAR method to answer potential interview questions about your work experience!
- S: Situation
- T: Task
- A: Action
- R: Result
Before you head into a phone interview, you’ll want to do your research on the company. This is pretty much the same thing as prepping for any other interview–except you’ll get the chance to glance at your notes (do NOT read off your notes because it will reflect in your voice). Even if you have notes handy, you still want to be authentic and conversational!
Check out my free downloadable Interview Cheat Sheet by clicking here.
It’s great to keep on hand during your phone interview. This will help keep you in-the-zone.
Good luck on your phone interview!
I hope that you’ve found this post on phone interview tips helpful. For a more comprehensible list of 9 no-fluff interview tips, check out my Ultimate Interview Guide.