Originally authored by April Klimkiewicz at Bliss Evolution
What’s the deal with a phone interview? I get asked that question a lot. Friends, candidates and clients want to know how they should act and prepare for a telephone interview.
TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!
It’s a real interview, just on the telephone instead of in-person. If you get a call from a recruiter and they want to talk to you right away, but you’re in the middle of something, let him/her know and ask to schedule a time to talk. You don’t want to be distracted.
Phone interviews could be with a Recruiter or a Hiring Manager. Recruiters often call them screening interviews; don’t be fooled! A screening interview is still an interview. Because they do many interviews each day, a recruiter may seem friendly and casual. You should be friendly but not casual. Answer the questions thoroughly and professionally.
Hiring Managers probably don’t conduct as many interviews as the recruiter, so be patient if it takes him/her a minute or two to get into the flow. Again, be sure to answer the questions with detail and provide examples if applicable.
GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME THAN THEY SAY
Be sure you are ready at the appointed time. Just as I recommend being 10 minutes early for a face to face interview, be ready 10 minutes prior to your Phone Interview. If you were told it would take about 30 minutes, give yourself an extra 15. You don’t want to feel rushed to give an answer at the end of the call.
PREPARE YOUR SPACE
Whether it’s in your car, a home office or the kitchen table; find a space where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Let family members know not to knock on the door or call you at that time.
Have a glass of water nearby, just in case you get a tickle in your throat.
Keep a notebook and pen handy to take notes during the call.
Print a copy of your resume. You don’t want any technical issues dropped WiFi to distract you during the interview.
ASK FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS
Write down questions ahead of time. What would you like to know about the company or the position? Do you have questions about the benefits or compensation? If the interview is with a recruiter, there is a good chance that these questions will be covered. If the phone interview is with the Hiring Manager, hold back on the Comp & Benefits questions, unless they bring it up first.
Pay attention when the interviewer describes the position and the company. If you can ask a follow-up question based on their description and any research you’ve done on the company, you’ll really set yourself apart from the competition.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and productive phone interview. And please don’t forget my rule for any interviews, you are exploring if that company is the right fit for you!