The Complete Guide to Phone Interviews

Phone interviews present some challenges that face-to-face or video interviews do not. For example, in a phone interview, you can’t gauge the interviewer’s reactions, body language, or facial expressions. In many ways, it seems as though you aren’t able to make as strong of an impression. This guide will review some of the key tactics to succeed in phone interviews and make a lasting impression.

  1. Do Your Research – Remember that a great phone interview starts before the call begins. Use a variety of channels to research the company, ensuring that you are as prepared as you would be for an in-person interview. The more prepared you feel, the better you will do. Select a few anecdotes or questions to mention during the conversation that you learned about the company on LinkedIn, a news source, or your favorite podcast. This will demonstrate the time you dedicated to interview preparation and will reflect the overall care you have for the company.
  2. Prepare Your Materials – Make sure that the materials and resources you need during the interview are easily accessible. Keep a pad of paper nearby to take notes or to write questions that pop up during the interview. Print out your resume to better speak to your experience and follow along at the pace of the interviewer.
  3. Pick a Place – One of the most important components of a phone interview is location. Find a quiet space to talk without the distraction of background noise. Typically, it’s best to take your call at home. However, you may find that your car or a private room provides more quiet and is more conducive to a phone interview. Essentially, focus on finding an area that is comfortable and has minimal noise. At the end of the day, the person you’re interviewing with is human, so they understand that sometimes you can’t control 100% of the noise.
  4. Stand Up – Standing up while speaking on the phone can instantly make your conversation feel more natural. Pacing can also help ease your nerves and get your blood flowing. Some people like to go hands-free in order to gesture as they usually do in person. Think of the lack of visibility as an advantage. Get comfortable and do what you need to in order to feel and perform your best.
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