How to interview on the phone
Advice and tips for having a great phone interview
Following the pandemic, many initial interviews have switched to over the phone. Sometimes this will be followed up with an in-person interview, and sometimes the phone interview is your only chance to land the job. Here is our advice for having a great phone interview to get the job.
6 tips for improving your next phone interview
- Dress up (or at least be presentable). There is an unconscious effect that happens when you dress professionally–you generally feel more professional. This small psychological trick can help you perform better. Also, sometimes interviews will be changed to video interviews at the last minute and you don’t want to be left scrambling.
- Plan for a spot with good reception. Unfortunately, it’s all too common that a candidate sounds garbled on the phone due to a bad connection or we get disconnected and the interview just ends prematurely. Seek out a place where you can ensure a good connection and if you think there’s any risk of dropping a call, ask your interviewer for a call back number in case you get disconnected.
- Minimize distractions. It can be tempting to take these interviews “on the go” like at the grocery store or at a restaurant. Similarly, it might be easy to forget about your barking dog at home because you’re so used to it. Remember that we can hear everything going on the background and might be easily distracted by these small things. Focus solely on the interview and minimize auditory distractions.
- Speak up. Most people sound softer on the phone than they are in-person. Also, bluetooth headsets sometimes don’t pick up your voice as well as you think they do. Speak up and focus on annunciating during your interview. It’s also important to start the interview by asking if they can hear you clearly.
- Sit up and smile. When you sit up, you naturally project your voice better. Similarly, when you smile, as you would in an in-person conversation, your voice sounds more up-beat and dynamic. These small adjustments can help you sound more charismatic and confident when taking the interview.
- Get “in front” of them. If you’re having an interview at 9:00 a.m., email them a copy of your resume and a link to your LinkedIn profile at 8:30. Then send a thank you email right after you’re done! If a recruiter is doing multiple phone interviews in a day, it can be hard to keep them all straight. This helps us differentiate you as a candidate.
- Treat it like an in-person interview. It can be easy to treat phone interviews casually. Don’t! Take the time to research the company, connect with the people talking to you, and otherwise make a great impression.