First-round interviews typically are done by phone or video call, and they come with their own unique set of pros and cons. The nice thing about a phone interview is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home and are therefore more relaxed than you would be going into an interview in person. Additionally, with a phone interview, you can have important notes and materials nearby, so you feel more prepared. The downside however to a phone interview is that you’re not able to read the expressions and body language of the person you’re speaking to, and also tend to be shorter than in-person interviews so you need to quickly and effectively address why you’re the best person for the job. Here are our top tips for your next phone interview so you can secure a second-round spot.
Know Who You’ll Be Speaking To
Once the interview has been booked, do a bit of research on the person you’ll be speaking to. Is it a company recruiter, someone in HR, or a potential manager? Do a quick LinkedIn search, research their role, and how long they’ve been with the company. Depending on their position, it will change what questions you prepare for and what questions you would bring up. If you’re speaking with someone on the company’s recruiting team, you’ll likely answer more basic questions including your work history and qualifications, while the trickier interview questions would be brought up during a later phase of the interview process.
Have Important Materials Nearby
As we mentioned before, one of the nice things about phone interviews is that you can have important notes and supporting materials nearby. Ahead of the interview, print off the job description, have a copy of your resume and write down important notes and questions you want to bring up during the interview. Ahead of any interview, it’s always smart to research the company and understand its mission, goals, and values. In your notes, have some of that information written down, so you can bring it up during the interview if the opportunity presents itself. Having your materials as organized and handy as possible will make the interview less nerve-wracking and flow more smoothly.
Find a Quiet Spot
Ideally, you will have the phone interview in a quiet, disruption-free spot with good phone reception. If you can, try your best to have the interview from home, where you can have your laptop, notes, notepad, and a glass of water nearby. Having a designated spot like this will make you feel more comfortable than trying to have the phone interview in your car on your lunch break. Make sure your phone is fully charged and consider using headphones so you can be hands-free during the interview in case you need to write down anything or quickly grab any notes.
When we’re nervous during interviews, we tend to talk faster and speak over others. This is especially true for phone interviews when you’re not able to read their physical body cues. Remind yourself to breathe and take your time allowing the interviewer to lead the conversation. Pause before answering their questions just in case the interviewer hasn’t finished their train of thought.