Ace Your Phone Interview
So let’s go over some ways to ensure you ace that first step and move on to the second.
Be prepared. Sometimes this call will come when you do not expect it. If you do not have a time scheduled, it is completely acceptable to ask if it would be OK to speak at a different time in the near future. Or let the call go to voicemail, and call back when you are prepared.
To get prepared, have a quiet place to take the call, and be sure paper and pen to take notes are readily available. Also, have the job description handy and any other company information you think would be helpful. This is like an open-book test, so don’t miss out on the advantage that offers.
Take the call on a landline if possible. You’re less likely to have issues with reception that way. If you don’t have one (my hand is raised) make sure you know where you get the best coverage and be there. Do a test call or two in order to zero in on the perfect spot…can you hear me now?
Convey energy and enthusiasm. The most consistent feedback we hear from those who conduct phone interviews is that the candidate did not come across as enthusiastic or energetic. If you sound like a bump on a log, odds are that invitation for the in-person interview will not come.
Avoid this by smiling when you talk, and try walking around or standing up (don’t lose that perfect coverage zone) to keep up your energy. Get dressed — and not in yoga pants or sweats. Treat this just like an in-person interaction so you are in that frame of mind.
Ask about the next steps. As the call concludes, reiterate your interest in the position, thank the interviewer for his or her time, and inquire about the next steps in the process. You may ask simply, “would you mind sharing with me what the next steps are?” or something like, “what is the timeline for filling this position?” This drives home your interest in the position and helps you know what to expect.