How to Win at Phone Interviews

How to Win at Phone Interviews

How to Win at Phone Interviews

If you’re hoping your resume and cover letter will score you an in-person interview, you may need to adjust your expectations a bit. Employers are increasingly using phone interviews as a first step in weeding out candidates before they offer on-site interviews. If you don’t have much experience with phone interviews, it can be a nerve-wracking scenario. Never fear, though – here how to impress a hiring manager over the phone:

Be Prepared

Have your resume with you for reference, as well as a copy of the job description. Plan answers to questions they’re likely to ask you, such as, “Why are you interested in this position?” You should also plan out a list of three or four thoughtful questions you’d like to ask, time permitting. You should also read everything you can on the employer’s website and social media to get a good feel for their work.

Use Active Listening

Too often, candidates get caught up in what they want to say next in order to ‘sell’ themselves, rather than listening closely and truly hearing the questions. Show the hiring committee that you’re truly interested in the position by giving each interview question your undivided attention.

Practice Perfect Posture

It may sound silly since they can’t see you during a telephone interview, but studies have shown that sitting up straighter and maintaining a professional posture can help you feel more confident on the phone. For a bonus, smile while you’re speaking, too!

Don’t Forget Etiquette

Sure, it’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean thank you notes have fallen out of use. Make sure you send one after a phone interview – the next day is ideal. If a hand-written note just isn’t your style, you can also thank the interviewers via email.

The prospect of a phone interview can be a bit overwhelming but acing one isn’t rocket science. Follow the above tips to make a great first impression on the phone so you can score an on-site interview next. Good luck!

Image via Flickr/Nattanan Srisut