In the past, the majority of interviews were conducted entirely face to face. But now, phone interviews have become a common first step to filter applicants before moving to an in-person interview. According to Sanjeev Agrawal, founder of Collegefeed, “The global economy means more and more cross-border hiring, where an initial phone interview becomes even more important.”
Unlike an in-person interview where a recruiter will analyze your attire, body language, etc., these aren’t relevant factors in a phone interview – and the most important part of success is adequate preparation. Here are some tips on impressing an interviewer over the phone.
Do Your Research
Many times, an interviewer will ask what you know about their company, the job description, etc. That’s why it pays to do your research and have at least a basic understanding of what the job entails, company history and culture. This way you won’t seem like a deer in the headlights if you’re asked a question like this, and you can make a positive impression.
Eliminate Background Noise
The last thing you want is distractions in the background during an interview. Not only does it make you look unprofessional, it can put a damper on communication and makes it difficult for both parties to concentrate. Consequently, you should make sure that you’re speaking in a quiet environment with no barking dogs, crying babies, television, radio, and so on. Also, check to make sure that your phone line is clear and you’re getting good reception.
Answer by Stating Your Name
Remember that an interviewer has never spoken with you before and won’t recognize you by your voice. For that reason, you should never just say, “Hello.” Instead, it’s better to say something like, “Hello, this is (your name).” That way, an interviewer will instantly know it’s you, which should prevent any awkwardness and help things get started out on the right foot.
Have Relevant Materials Ready
One of the main advantages of a phone interview over one that’s in-person is you can assemble materials that you can refer to whenever you need. For example, you might open up a few tabs on your Internet browser that include:
- The job description
- The company website
- Your resume
- A search engine
This is nice because you can quickly find any information you need without causing a delay and keep the interview flowing smoothly.
With a little preparation, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed at your next phone interview. By following these tips, you’ll build positive rapport with your interviewer and will hopefully be asked to meet face to face for the final stages of the hiring process.