The goal of the phone interview is simple: For the employer to determine whether it is worth it to him to meet you in person. From this one conversation, the interviewer will form ideas and opinions about your enthusiasm, knowledge, skills, and personality.
5 Tips for Acing the Phone Interview
- Practice, and then practice some more. Have a friend or colleague call you to conduct a mock phone interview and have him provide feedback. Spend time practicing your “elevator pitch”. Read more about developing your elevator pitch.
- Keep note cards with key points and professional accomplishments at hand. Also, keep a copy of your resume (the same version you provided to the interviewer) and any work product to which you might refer, accessible. You may consider highlighting key points or projects on your copy of the resume.
- Research the person with whom you will be speaking. Is it the hiring manager, HR specialist, or team member? A hiring manager will likely ask more questions directly pertaining to your ability to perform the job, whereas an HR specialist may simply want to verify the information you have provided on your resume and application. A team member (potential peer) may be more concerned with your personality and “fit” with the team.
- Place a mirror where you are able to see yourself and stand up during the conversation to maintain your energy level. Ensure that your facial expressions show excitement about the opportunity, as facial expressions affect our voice.
- Prior to the scheduled call, test your environment’s background noise and device connection by calling a friend. Make certain that your environment is free of noise, distraction, and interruptions.
Advice From Our Recruiters
“Be upbeat and engaging in conversation. Speak about your current and past employers in a “good light” and do not be negative or emotional about your current position, coworkers, or past experiences. Highlight your success stories. Always present a professional attitude that is poised, polished, at ease with senior executives–friendly and customer-focused.” Jeanne Ferguson
“Candidates need to respect everyone with whom they speak, even if it is not the hiring manager. The hiring manager puts quite a bit of control in the hand of HR. If the candidate is not respectful of this interview, chances are they will not move on in the process.” Jennifer Wright
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