If you’re applying to a job in another state, or if your potential employer uses a multi-step hiring process, you might need to take a phone interview. If you feel nervous or unsure of what to expect—don’t worry! You can take steps to prepare for—and deliver—a killer phone interview. Here’s what you need to know.
Seven steps to your best phone interview
- Prepare as you would for any interview. Just because it’s over the phone doesn’t make this interview any less formal. So do as you would before any in-person interview—review common interview questions and answers, research the company, and jot down 3-5 questions you have for the interviewer.
- Choose a quiet, distraction-free location. Plan to take the phone interview in a room free from the distractions of children and pets. You should be able to shut the door and focus on the interview without noise or interruptions.
- Make sure your phone is charged. If you’ll be using a cell phone to take the call, be sure yours is charged up and ready to go. Have your charger handy in case your battery starts to get low.
- Have a glass of water nearby. You’ll be doing plenty of talking and it’s normal to get dry mouth when you’re a little nervous. To quell this issue, just keep a glass of water nearby in case you need a quick sip!
- Print out copies of your resume and cover letter. You can keep them near you for easy reference while talking to the interviewer. It’s also a good idea to email copies to the interviewer prior to your phone interview to ensure they have them readily available for reference.
- Remember a pad and pen. You may want to write down questions that pop into your head as the interviewer is speaking, or anything else you want to remember about the job or company.
- Be gracious. At the end of the interview, always thank the hiring manager for their time. If you don’t already have it, get their contact information. Then, send a follow-up thank-you email or card.
Practice is key
Good interview techniques are a learned skill and you can master them with practice. Simply take the time to prepare before every interview, whether phone, video or in-person. It will help you to reduce any nervous jitters and conduct yourself with confidence.
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