Knowing a few telephone interview tips can be a big help as you look for your next job. Many companies are saving money and time by having the first interview over the phone. No matter the phone interview question that is posed to you, you want to come across as poised and professional. These 11 tips can help you ace that phone interview and get you invited to the next one.
1. Hold your interview in a quiet space.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised. Try to have the interviewer call you on a land line to avoid a dropped cell-phone connection. Also, if there ever were a time to hire a babysitter, it is now. Your kids' playtime may sound perfectly normal to you, but your potential boss won't be able to hear you if their fun gets too boisterous.
2. Provide details.
When asked a question, be ready to back up your statements with concrete examples of what you did well, what worked and why you are answering in the way you are. You want to come across as articulate and clear, and this is the way to achieve that. Use the vocabulary suited to the field in which you are interviewing to show you've done your research.
3. Be prepared.
If you have made notes on the company, use them to tailor your answers to what is applicable to their workplace needs. If you need to ask for a moment to refer to your research, that is fine to do.
4. Don't be afraid to speak up.
If you have not had the chance to say something you wish to say, or ask something you need to know, at the end of the conversation, take the opportunity to ask for another moment to do so. It is far too easy to miss information over the phone. If you don't understand a question, it is perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase it. Better to do this than give an inappropriate answer because you didn't understand the question.
5. Avoid rambling.
Answer clearly, and then stop. If there is a pause, you can ask if you have answered the question fully. Stopping when you have answered instead of nervously filling the silence shows confidence. Besides, the interviewer is probably just catching up on taking notes.
6. Be confident.
Speak with confidence, and you'll be believed. This is true even if you do not feel completely sure. The more you can act as if you know what you are talking about, the more the interviewer will believe in you.
7. Listen carefully.
Be sure you have heard the whole question so you can answer it completely. Some people hear only the first part of a question and start thinking of a response, missing the second part of the question. Interviewers notice that, and it makes a difference.
8. Take a moment.
If you need to, ask for a moment to formulate your answer to a question. Doing so will prevent you from rambling and show you to be thoughtful. Your answer will be more thorough as well.
9. Don't get flustered.
If you're thrown a curve ball that you don't know how to deal with, simply ask to come back to that question so you can have time to mull it over a bit. It's better to do this than to stammer out a confused-sounding answer. Asking for more time will help you think.
Structured interviews with canned questions have become the norm at many companies. Structured interview questions may seem impersonal or even silly, but they're designed to ensure candidates are evaluated on equal terms. By remembering that interviews are more about chemistry than specific answers, you'll ace those structured interviews.
During a job interview, you might fumble the answer to a question, or your mind will go completely blank. But, at other times, the problem with the interview isn't you. Interviewers who haven't been trained properly or who are trying to screen out candidates for reasons other than their qualifications might ask you personal questions that are awkward at best and illegal at worst. This Q&A can help you handle these nosy interview questions.
Make sure you dress for success for your next interview to show that you are professional and interested in the job.