How to Conquer a Phone Interview

Posted on 12 May 2017

An in-person interview allows for direct contact with the employer (or whoever is hiring for the company). However, it’s imperative that your personality shines through with phone interviews. There is no room for eye contact, a handshake, etc. So, here are some tips on how to conquer your next phone interview:

1. Check your phone service and surroundings. Be sure to be in an area with exceptional service and run a test phone call with a family member or a friend. Nothing is worse than a fuzzy or dropped phone call. Additionally, ensure that there is no background noise in your environment, such as pets, kids, highways, and more.

2. Don’t put the phone on speaker. If you are allotting ample time to complete the call, there is no reason for the phone to be on speaker. On the other line, when a phone is on speaker, sometimes it’s hard to hear the other person speaking because it sounds static-y. And you don’t want the interviewer to not hear your beautiful voice.

3. Big personality, but not too big. You don’t want to oversell yourself with grandiose facts and an overly excited tone, but it’s important that you come across as a genuine, fun, and nice person over the phone. Typically, phone interviews are considered the “first interview,” and you don’t want to blow it before an actual in-person interview.

4. Respond to questions tactfully and respectfully. With phone calls, it’s easy to talk over someone because there are no visual cues as to when the other person finishes talking. Although it is important to convey your past experiences, explain your work history, etc., it is even more important to allow the employer/interviewer to complete their questions and responses before you answer.

5. Wait for the interviewer to end the call. If you take the chance of ending the call first, you risk cutting the interviewer off mid-sentence. To avoid this, after the formal ‘goodbyes,’ wait to hear their dial-tone first.

6. Relocation and salary. The majority of the time, phone interviews occur because you are out of state, and the employer wants to touch bases with you regarding moving and compensation. It’s always best to discuss salary and relocation during the phone interview. It’s not beneficial to be flown out for an interview, and then you are offered a lower salary than you expected. Thus, wasting your time and the employers. Unlike in-person interviews, it is vital to openly discuss these topics. For further assistance on how to answer the question of salary and relocation, check out our blog posts How to Tackle Common Interview Questions and What to Do When You Relocate.

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