So, you’ve made contact with a company, whether online or at a career fair, and you’re moving on to the first stage: the phone interview. Whether this is your first phone interview or you’re practically a professional at this point, here are 7 tips for nailing your interview and securing a spot for yourself in the next round.
1. Come Prepared
Do your research on the company, position you are applying for, and the person interviewing you. Prepare a list of detailed, specific questions for your interviewer and take the time to test out the phone connection in the area in which you will be taking the phone interview.
2. Open with a strong introduction
Most phone interviews are the first step into the interview process. You might have met representatives at a career fair, but the person interviewing you likely has no idea who you are or what you’ve accomplished. Hit them with all your best highlights – where you grew up, your interests, why you chose your major. Relate it back to the job or company for major bonus points!
3. Questions, questions, and more questions
Prepared and thoughtful questions show us a lot – that you prepared for the phone interview, listened to what we told you during the interview, and most importantly, that you did your homework. Interviewers love it when a candidate brings up something discussed during a phone screen or previous interaction because it shows good listening skills and genuine interest.
4. Take a moment, if needed
Stumped? If asked a question and the answer is far, far away in the back corner of your brain, don’t panic. We spent time on our questions and understand if you need a moment to regroup and think of an answer. Plus, it shows you want to provide a thoughtful answer, which is a valuable trait.
5. Be yourself
What are your hobbies? How do you spend your weekends? We are looking for candid responses. This is the perfect time for you to work some personality into the interview and it gives us a better understanding of cultural fit.
6. Answering, is there anything else we should know about you?
Here is your opportunity to give your final elevator pitch, so lay it on us! Reiterate why we should hire you and how you fit in with the company. If done right, you will come across as polished and having the go-getter attitude that companies look to hire.
7. THANK YOU
Send the interviewer a thank you via email or written note. We cannot stress how far this goes – it can even put you a step above a candidate who might be slightly more qualified. The thank you should indicate takeaways from the conversation and appreciation for time spent on the interview.
Remember, an interview is not only a company’s chance to get to know you, but it is also an opportunity for you to get to know them and decide if that company is the right place for you to work. Good luck!