The world has changed in the past few years: Now, instead of worrying about making it in time for an in-person interview and dreading getting lost or stuck in traffic, many employers are opting for phone interviews, at least for the first round.
There are some challenges with phone interviews. The person you’re speaking with cannot see your face or body language, so something that would be obvious when you’re sitting with someone (who can see that you’re taking a moment to think about your response) can come across as an awkward silence.
But that’s ok! Here are some tips to help you make a great first impression during your next phone interview, even if they can’t see your power smile.
- Sit up straight. No, the interviewer can’t see if you’re doing your best croissant impression and sitting scrunched up in a chair. But your voice will sound different if you’re sitting up straight compared with slouching. Sitting up tall, with your shoulders back and your head high, helps you sound clear and confident. Make sure the chair you’re using for the interview is comfortable as well; the last thing you want to do is shift around constantly because your back is in pain.
- Do your homework. Here’s a situation in which a phone interview is beneficial to you: Before the interview, do a little research on the company. Read the most recent press releases to get an understanding of what’s going on and important in the company’s current work. Take notes and keep them handy — on phone interviews, you can have notes to refer to and you can use these notes to underscore why you’re interested in this job with this company. Little tidbits and details sprinkled into your answers shows that you’ve done more than just a little review of the company’s available information. Use the details you find to tie into your answers about why you’re a good fit for the job and why you’re interested. If you have a name of the person who will be calling you, do a little digging on LinkedIn to see what you can learn about them, their position within the company and their potential relation to your new job.
- Look over the job description again. With your resume in hand, read through the job description for which you’ll be interviewing. Make notes about how your experience and skills fit the requirements and suggested attributes needed for this position. The more you can link your experience, background, talent and interests with what the company is looking for, the better argument you can make for why you’re the best person for the job. You’re also making it easier for the interviewer to take notes and make the same decision you’re suggesting: their search for the best candidate ends with you!
- Practice, practice, practice. This is good advice before any interview. There are a handful of questions that are bound to be asked in most interviews. Things like why are you interested in this job; where do you see yourself in five or 10 years; what is your greatest strength/weakness, etc. Have someone you trust ask you these questions so you can prepare your answers. Again, feel free to take notes so that you have a little bit of a script to work off from; this will help reduce your stress in the moment and will allow you to give thoughtful answers without having to make it up on the spot.
- Set yourself up for success. A day or two before the interview call, confirm the day and time. Before the interview starts, make sure the room is quiet, that your phone is fully charged. Turn off any and all other alarms so your concentration won’t be broken. If you have a pet, make sure they’re fed and distracted so they won’t interrupt (the same goes for people who might barge into the room!). Have a glass of water nearby to keep your voice pleasant and prevent your mouth from going dry from nerves. When the phone rings, take a deep breath and answer with a smile.
Phone interviews can be a great experience for you and the person asking the questions. Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to make a great impression!
If you’re still looking for the right new opportunity, it’s time to contact Davis Staffing. Take a look at the great positions we have available right now from our partner companies and see if one is what you’re looking for, then give us a call. Your great new career is within reach!