In this difficult employment market, recruiters and key decision makers are putting much more of an emphasis on phone interviews in determining who moves forward in a more in-depth interview process. These days, phone interviews are unavoidable as it saves decision maker's time in identifying true, top candidates.
This, in turn, puts more significance on the initial interview step. Candidates need to go into these calls prepared with as much information on the organization, the position, and their skill set. To maximize your chances of making that great first impression over the phone, follow these 5 helpful tips that will help you crush a phone interview.
Prepare and Research the Company
Just as you would for a face-to-face interview, you must prepare yourself as soon as you’ve landed the phone interview. To separate yourself from the rest of the pack, you need to show the interviewer that you are quite familiar with the organization. You know who they are, you know what they do, and you know where they stand in the marketplace. The easiest way to do this is by going through the company website, looking at their blog posts, and identifying what their mission statement truly is. The more you know and the better prepared you are, the more comfortable you will feel over the phone.
Find the Perfect Location
The great thing about a phone interview is that you can set the scene. Take advantage of that by finding a quiet spot, with no chance of interruptions or background noise to ensure the call will move along fluidly. If you have the choice to use a landline or cell phone use the landline. If you’re using your cell make sure you’re in an area with a strong signal. There’s nothing an interviewer finds more frustrating than having to ask the same question more than once due to a bad connection or dropped signals. The same applies to video conferencing.
Avoid the “What’s in it for You”
If you’re kicking off the interview process on the phone you need to be focused on providing as much information about yourself as it relates to the open job. Interviewers want to gather details and information regarding your job history and in turn, you need to be prepared to sell yourself and make it known why you are the best candidate for the job. It’s way too early for you to be bringing up salary expectations or asking about the company’s benefits. If you stay on task during the phone interview, ask great questions and present yourself as a top candidate, you will make it to the next steps. So take the “what’s in it for you” off the table for now.
Be Confident, Clear and Concise
The key to success during phone interviews starts by giving clear and concise answers. You must project confidence through your voice which will set the tone for a positive call. Also, keeping your answers short and on point is a must. There's nothing worse than someone rambling on and on, as this will only cause the interviewer to lose interest. Attention spans tend to be shorter over the phone and recruiters will shut down once they sense answers getting off track. A great way to prepare is to practice answers to questions that you know may be asked so you stop the rambling before it ever begins.
Recruiters on average conduct 20 phone interviews a day. Your energy level is even more critical given eye contact and body language can’t be detected over the phone. Your verbal energy is very important as it shows your genuine interest in the company and it will quickly engage your interviewer on the other end. Showing no enthusiasm is a quick way for that phone call to end early so get yourself excited for that call. Separate yourself from the rest by sounding like you are eager about the opportunity and let them feel that smile through the phone.
Utilizing these 5 tips will not only differentiate yourself from your competition but, will also allow you to get in front of key decision makers, who ultimately decide whether are not you get the position. Win that phone interview, move on in the interview process and get that well-deserved offer.
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