Interviewing over the phone, or even via Skype, has become very popular over the past few years. As a college student or working professional, you have had or will probably have a phone interview, especially for those who are hoping to take their talents out of state for summer internships or jobs after graduation. Of course face-to-face interviews has its advantages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a really great interview over the phone. The main thing to remember is that it’s still a professional interview, so the same techniques will still apply.
Here’s how to make sure you rock your next phone interview:
Before the Interview
Research. You received the call or email that a company is interested in a phone interview; Now what? Always make sure you do your research, even if it’s a company you are familiar with. Visit the “About Us” section of the company’s website, look up employees on LinkedIn, and even google the company in the news section to find out what’s currently happening. You want to be prepared to answer any question about the company, know what you’re talking about, and be confident when engaging in conversation.
Prepare Answers. There will always be some form of the basic questions asked during any type of interview—Tell me about yourself, Why do you want to work here, What can you bring to the company? Make a list of answers to these questions and any others that you can think of. This will help to prepare answers that are well thought out, personalized, and not the cliché responses everyone says.
Find a Quiet Place. Pick a distinct location for the interview. If you’re on campus, try getting a study room. If you’re at home or in a dorm room, make sure you don’t have any disturbances, and tell everyone to keep quiet during the interview. You want to be focused, attentive, and cancel out background noise as much as possible while talking. Also, make sure your phone is charged and you have service!
Dress Business Professional. Dressing up as if you are actually having a face-to-face interview will put you in an interview mindset. Looking great will make you feel great! Staying in your pajamas because the interviewer can’t see you may make you feel too comfortable, and might even make you forget you’re having an interview.
During the Interview
Be Confident, Speak Slowly, Take Your Time. You have done your research, you know everything about the company, you have prepared a list of frequently asked questions and answers, and you’re dressed to “impress”. Now, stay calm! Try not to sound nervous and stumble over your words. Speaking slowly and clearly, and taking your time will help you say what you need to say in a confident manner. No need to speed through the interview.
After the Interview
Ask Questions. Always, always, always ask questions when prompted to at the end of the interview. They want you to ask questions, and it gives you a chance to learn more about the company and your position. Maybe you found something interesting about the company while doing research, ask about it! Engaging in conversation and wanting to know more could possibly land you the position.
Say Thank You. Don’t forget your Thank You cards! Handwritten thank you letters will never go out of style. Send a Thank You card in the mail 2-3 days after the interview to thank the interviewer(s) for their time. You can even send an email too!
Following these steps will definitely help you rock your phone interview. No, you won’t have the advantages of shaking hands and making eye contact, but being thoroughly prepared for the phone interview can also help you get the job. Don’t worry, you got this!