Acing Your Phone Interview

Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular because they provide a great way for employers to narrow down their pool of applicants prior to in-person interviews. For that reason, it’s important for you to ace your phone interview if you want to move on to the face-to-face round. The Los Angeles Times published a great article on phone interviews in their latest Sunday issue, so we’ve summarized the important points below.

  1. Avoid Distractions:
    • While on the phone with a potential employer, you should distance yourself from any distractions. This includes your computer, iPad, smartphone, or even your roommates.
  2. Be Articulate:
    • Your voice is the only tool you have to express yourself on a phone interview, so make sure you speak articulately and clearly. You also want to avoid trailing off or rambling when answering the hiring manager’s questions. Pausing occasionally will help your interviewer to process what you are saying and digest the information fully.
  3. Prepare Yourself:
    • A phone interview is a great time to ask any preliminary questions you might have about the job opportunity, so you should have a list prepared before the call. Also, keep the job description handy and look up some information on the company to make sure you are fully informed.
    • It also helps to brainstorm examples of your past experiences that you can talk about on the phone interview. For example, compile a list of examples where you took initiative, demonstrated your organizational skills, or worked as a team player.
  4. Be Yourself:
    • It can be difficult to convey your personality over the phone in an interview, but don’t forget to be personable and friendly. While you want to maintain professionalism, you also want to be yourself.
    • Don’t come across as if you are reading a script when speaking to a hiring manager; you want to come across confident and friendly, not rehearsed. Smiling while you talk can help improve the sound of your voice and put more energy into what you’re saying.
  5. Express Interest:
    • At the end of the phone screen, be sure to thank your interviewer for their time and consideration. If you are interested in moving forward with the interview process, don’t be afraid to say so! Hiring managers will be more inclined to move forward with applicants who are visibly interested in and excited about their open position.