Phone interviews represent 90% of all contract interviews. Here are a few tips for a successful phone interview.
Have a copy of your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. Have a bulleted list of items you want to cover during the conversation. Cross each one off as you go, so that you cover each point and move on.
Pay close attention to the person on the other end of the phone, listening and answering questions diligently, but is also imperative that you have access to the web. You should have the company web-site readily available to you. Open up the company’s website in your browser and have another window open to the search engine of your choice. This allows you to quickly access pertinent information during the interview process.
This seems obvious, but it is important. USE A LAND LINE. Making the call from a landline leaves less room for misinterpretation and cuts the odds of disconnection to a minimum. Also be sure to use a high-quality phone.
Interviewers often make the mistake of trying to fit a phone interview during their lunch hour at work. But what if the interviewer is running a few minutes late? Also, the longer the call, the better you’re doing! Make the call at a time where you have a minimum of 30 minutes free. Most phone interviews last only a few minutes, but if you end up hitting it off with the interviewer, the last thing you want to do is have to cut them off.
If a major distraction occurs during the phone interview, mention it. Your honesty will likely be appreciated; after all, the person on the other line is human too and has likely encountered a similar situation. The worst thing you can do is attempt to cover up something that takes you out of the moment, because it could make you look like you weren’t paying attention.
Unlike a face-to-face interview, there’s no commute afterwards. Send a thank-you note an hour or two after the phone interview. This helps you close the loop and reiterate your interest in wanting to meet the interviewer in person. The goal of a phone interview is to get a face-to-face meeting; don’t be bashful about making this request. If you can’t send the email right away, make several notes about the call while they’re fresh in your mind. These will come in handy when you send the thank-you note later in the day.