Phone Interview Tips – Part 2 – During the Phone Interview
This is the second article in a 2-part series about phone interview tips; to read part 1, please visit the link below.
As you read in Phone Interviews – Part 1: Preparing for the Phone Interview, phone interviews are used quite frequently as a screening tool in the interview process. The importance of preparing in advance for a phone interview cannot be overstated.
Bonus Tip: Always make sure you find a quiet place to take your interview call and make sure you have full service if you are on your cell phone. Be ready to answer the phone at the agreed upon time.
During the phone interview
Have your notes ready to reference from your previous preparation steps, but try not to read your notes verbatim during the call. You don’t want to sound too scripted or too rehearsed while on the call. Quick bullet point reminders of what you’d like to speak about can be good reminders to help keep the conversation moving naturally, but also to keep you on track with the key points you want to discuss.
Try to remain confident and smile during the call. Interviewers can hear in your voice if you are nervous, unenthusiastic, or bored – so don’t give them a reason to dislike you based on your tone. Smile! Your smile will be heard in your voice during the phone interview.
Bonus Tip: Check out this video on Power Posing to help build your confidence before the interview begins. It only takes a few minutes to change your entire outlook through body language.
If you are asked any questions that could lead into a negative reply, always remain positive in tone and reply. If you are asked why you are leaving your current employer (or why you left a past employer), and it was a toxic situation that made you truly unhappy – don’t give in to the urge to vent about it – stay positive about the past. For examples, you may have left a past employer due to a conflict with management styles or due to unfair treatment; however, a phone interview with a new employer is not the place to openly discuss this. Let the interviewer know that you had reached your full potential in your past employment and are looking for new challenges. If you can share an example of different growth opportunities /promotions you had received during the course of your employment you can further illustrate your momentum to move forward in your career.
Closing the Call
At the end of the call, you should always thank the interviewer for their time and ask about next steps in the interview process, so you have an idea of what the process may look like. This is not a good time to ask specific questions about the role unless you have “deal-breakers” when considering this position, like company location/commute, or overtime/on-call status. The specific job role or company-specific types of questions are better suited to an in-person interview.
Good luck in your interview. If you have made it through the phone interview step and are ready to prepare for an in-person interview, check out this article on interviewing tips.