A job interview is like a first date: a nerve-wracking and often awkward dance of getting to know each other to see if you are as good of a match in real life as you seem to be on paper. But when you take out the face-to-face element and instead have to interview via phone, it can actually be more difficult to make that connection and score an invite to the next round of interviews.
Here is some tried-and-true advice on how to shine in a phone interview:
Prepare Your Answers
While there is no way to predict the exact questions that you will be asked in your interview, there are a number of commonly asked questions that you can prepare to answer. Expand beyond these questions by brainstorming additional questions and answers that are specific to the industry or type of position.
The mere act of considering your answers to typical interview questions can help to get you in the right mindset to effectively explain why you are the best candidate for the job. Write down your answers and keep your notes close by during your interview for reference.
Do Your Research
Learn as much as you can about the company before your phone interview. Scour their website and any relevant news articles to find out what the company does, its history and its strengths and weaknesses. Review the website with a critical eye to determine areas that could use improving. Learn about all of the services or products offered and pinpoint ways in which your experience aligns with the company’s offerings.
If you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you, research him or her as well. Review the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, noting any common experiences, connections or interests. By being aware of these commonalities, you can then pepper them into the conversation in a natural way to help establish rapport with the interviewer.
Have Your Tech Really to Go
Make sure that your technology essentials are all charged up and ready to go. If your mobile phone has battery issues, this may mean trading up to a new smartphone before your interview to prevent any issues. It’s likely that a reliable, multi-tasking smartphone like a Samsung Galaxy Note8 will be a critical tool to use for your new job anyways, so it’s well worth making this splurge now.
Arrange a tidy work space for your interview with your smartphone, computer and a notepad and pen. Close out any unnecessary windows and apps on your computer and phone to minimize distractions and avoid causing your operating system to lag.
Dress for Success
Just because your interviewer cannot see you, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for your interview by looking your best. Choose your outfit as if this were an in-person interview.
Dressing up in a business-appropriate ensemble can help you feel more confident and get you in the right head space to really nail this phone interview and show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job. Studies have shown that dressing for success, even when no one is there to see it, can make you feel more competent, trustworthy and authoritative.
With your answers to top questions prepped, the company thoroughly researched, your tech gear charged and your most professional outfit on, you will be ready to nail this phone interview. Your interviewer will surely be impressed with your poise and preparation.