One of the best phone interview tips is to remember that it’s a phone interview!
Being at home for your interview gives you a major advantage. You can have notes, your resume, and other tools available to keep you on track and keep nerves from getting the best of you.
But phone interviews do present a special challenge…
Since your interviewer cannot see you – your body language, the way you are dressed, eye contact, and other non-verbal cues – they will rely even more on the sound and tone of your voice and your responses to determine if you are a good candidate for the job.
Here are the top six phone interview tips to help you ace your interviews.
1. Do your research.
Go into your interview armed with information about the company. And make sure to mention something from your research when the opportunity presents itself.
Find out why and when the company started, who the company serves, and other basic information. Also look for specifics about the department you will work for.
If the interviewer asks why you want to work with them, use your research to answer.
For example, if the company’s mission or values statement resonates with you, tell the interviewer that you believe in what the company stands for.
Or if you find a recent news article about the company, mention your source and something interesting from the article that draws you to the organization.
For your own knowledge find out about company culture and what employees are saying about working there.
For great insider information, Glassdoor.com maintains a wealth of data on over 250,000 companies. You can find employee reviews, salaries, and even job interview details like how candidates got the interview and the questions they were asked.
Vault.com is another resource for reviews and rankings.
2. Maintain quiet.
In most work from home positions, particularly for call centers, a noise-free environment is a must.
Turn off every ringer and device, be out of range of your doorbell or place a do not ring sign on the door, remove pets from the area, mute your computer speakers, and remove the risk of any other background noise.
If you can’t provide quiet during your interview, your chances at the job are slim to none.
3. Use cheat sheets.
Take advantage of the fact that your interviewer can’t see you! If you plan to reference something from the company website, have that page open.
Keep your resume handy in case your interviewer refers to it for a specific question. Pre-write responses to common interview questions so that you can refer to them if asked.
You should also use your resume to help you recall specific stories from past positions, which leads to the next great phone interview tip…
4. Know STAR.
When an interviewer asks you a question that begins with “Tell me about a time that you…”, you can probably use STAR to help you respond.
STAR is a technique for answering situational and behavioral questions to ensure that you give a concise and effective answer. STAR is Situation, Task, Action, Results.
So if the interviewer wants you to tell her about a time that you had to handle a difficult situation at work, you will respond with the
Situation – give a brief description of the details.
Task – describe your role in the situation and what were you assigned to do.
Action – describe the steps that you took to complete the task.
Results – list the outcome of your actions.
The interviewer will assess both the scenario and the way that you deliver it. So give well-structured responses that highlight relevant job experience.
5. Ask great questions.
Many people forget that job interviews are a two-way street. The interview allows all parties to determine a mutual fit.
But even if you are already certain that the job and the organization are perfect for you, still ask questions.
Well-crafted questions serve three purposes:
- you gain valuable insight from the interviewer,
- you further prove that you are the professional that you say you are by asking relevant questions, and
- you display your enthusiasm for the company and the position you applied for.
Your interviewer wants to know that not only can you successfully perform the job, but that you are truly interested.
6. Send a thank you.
Speaking of interest, a thank you email is the cherry on top of a great interview.
Thank the interviewer for her time and let her know that after your conversation, you are even more confident that you are the best person for the job. Reiterate what you can offer to the organization.
These phone interview tips should help you get through any interview with confidence.
What are your best phone interview tips?