Monday, January 28, 2013

Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

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More and more companies use in-depth phone interviews to screen candidates that may even include multiple managers or interviewers. Do you know how to succeed and make the best impression?
Many companies use the phone interview as an initial screening tool and most often, a recruiter will contact you to schedule your interview in advance. If you should be contacted by a recruiter or manager to do an immediate phone interview and are not expecting the call, you should make a quick assessment of your situation.

If you have no distractions around you and you feel ready, go ahead. On the other hand, if the time is not good for one (you just had a discussion with your teen who is slamming doors, your dog just threw up in front of you, or there is a fire in your kitchen, ) ask if you could schedule the call for later in the day or the next day. You will not be at your best if there is chaos going on around you.

1.) At the time of the phone interview, assure that your surroundings are quite and minimize any potential disruptions. Speak loud enough and with a clear, confident voice. Smile when you're speaking, as it will reflect friendliness in your voice.

2.) If at all possible, use a landline phone. I've conducted countless interviews where the cell reception was very poor, and it was difficult to hear the candidates' responses.

3.) If possible, ask the names and positions held of the people on the call. Some people are very comfortable giving their name; others fear that they will be deluged with phone calls from candidates after the interview. When you ask them for their name, remember, they are interviewing you; you are not interviewing them. Your tone of voice when you ask is very important. A group phone interview is not unusual. Write their names down so that you can use their names when addressing them or answering questions.

4.) If a question requires a long or highly technical answer, ask the interviews the amount of time they allowed or detail they would like, so you can gauge how to expand on shorten your reply.

5.) Make sure to thank the interviewers for their time at the conclusion of the phone interview. If they do not indicate the next step, it is okay to ask what to expect next, or what kind of timetable they are on.

6.) If you are interested in the position, be sure to enthusiastically let them know. "This sounds like a great opportunity with your company, I'd be very interested in continuing with the process."

7.) Don't be discouraged if you do not get an immediate invitation for an in-person interview; often they may want to have a consensus meeting and discuss all the candidates at that step before proceeding.
If you do not hear from the organization at all after the phone call, (which unfortunately, happens too frequently), or if you receive a "Thanks, no thanks" reply, do not be discouraged. Just look at yourself as being that much more practiced and prepared for when the right job does come along!

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