Initially, you may be happy that your interview is over the phone instead of in person. While you may only have to take a call for this form of an interview, it’s more difficult to make a good impression. A phone interview is also typically used as a way to thin out the candidate pool before moving on to in-person interviews. This makes it all the more important that you take the proper preparations before sitting down for the phone call. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of phone interviews and then get into specific things you should do to prepare.
Pros & Cons
In a way, many of the pros of phone interviews are also cons. For instance, phone interviews are extremely convenient because all you have to do is make a call. You could take this call anywhere, and you don’t have to drive to an office for a sit-down. On the other hand, doing the interview over the phone means you don’t have the advantage of face-to-face communication. It’s much harder to connect over the phone than it is in person. This is a big negative because you want to get the recruiter on your side during the conversation.
On a positive note, it can be convenient to not be in person or on video. With a phone interview, you can have material laid out in front of you for reference. You should always have a printout of the job description and your resume in front of you, along with a notepad to jot down any important details. This is also an opportunity to have a list of questions you may have for the interviewer about the position. These two points start to dive into how you can appropriately prepare ahead of time.
Basic Phone Interview Preparations
Despite the differences mentioned previously, one of the best ways to prepare for a phone interview is to treat it like you would any other interview. Make sure you do background research and familiarize yourself with the company and its agenda. As previously mentioned, have a copy of your resume and the job description for your own review. Oddly enough, you should also dress well for the interview. Don’t just roll out of bed and take the call, or pause an episode of Netflix to take it. Shower and dress well enough- you should feel the importance of the interview. This will prepare you mentally and get you in the right mindset. We’re not saying you need to put on your best suit, but don’t take the call in your pajamas. This will make you feel more confident, which is important in any interview. You’re going to have to sell the interviewer on your skills and qualifications over the phone, so it’s helpful to feel confident in those abilities.
Factoring in Your Surroundings
There are also some unique considerations you have to make with a phone interview. One of the biggest factors you need to consider is sound, specifically background noise. Trying to do the interview in a coffee shop is a bad idea, as is trying to do it with a noisy pet in the background. Find a quiet, comfortable place to take the call where you won’t be bothered
You also have to factor technology into the equation with a phone interview. It never looks good if you drop the call. Even if it is due to bad reception, it still reflects poorly upon you. In the same vein, if you are taking the call on a cell phone, make sure your battery is charged. There is nothing worse than your phone dying mid-interview as you scramble to find your charger. When the call does come, make sure you are sitting straight, and speaking clearly. You should sound professional and interested. If the interviewer feels as if they have inconvenienced you with the call from your tone, it may be enough to drop you from the next round of interviews.
These are only a few of the important preparations you can take, and we hope they make a difference when the phone rings for you! Phone interviews can be challenging and hard to feel comfortable with, so we hope our guide helps. If you have any tips that we missed, make sure to share them in the comments for other readers!