How to Prepare for a Phone Interview & Get the Job

phone interview

Found your dream job? Learn how to prepare for a phone interview and up your chances of getting hired with these tips from Evanston, IL tutor Rachel M.:

Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as the recruiting process is more complicated and congested than ever. Applicants need to be competitive, strategic, and highly adaptable in order to pass from the first stage on to the final interview. Knowing how to prepare for a phone interview is important, as it is inherently different from in-person interviews.

Please always remember:

1. Treat the phone interview as the first chance to make an impression.
The fact that you have progressed to this point means that you have qualifications the Hiring Manager is interested in. Your resume, application, or cover letter has already stood out in a way that distinguishes you from the other applicants. Still, the first interview over the phone can make or break your Hiring Manager’s decision in whether you will continue on. When you prepare for a phone interview with care and attention, you will ultimately make a better decision that will make you the right candidate for the position. Review the traditional interview questions as well as key behavioral questions. Write out your answers and practice beforehand in front of a mirror.

2. Be natural.
Similar to the mantra “be yourself,” being natural is a great way to prepare for the phone interview because this is the first time the Hiring Manager is going to hear your voice. If you sound like you just woke up, you will be doing yourself a great disservice. For this reason, never conduct a phone interview in a dark room. You will sound disoriented and confused over the phone. Sit at a desk or work area so you are completely focused. You will also have the added benefit of being able to look at your notes on the company, refer to your resume, and write down important information all at the same time. Also for this reason, you should try to dress business casual or business for your phone interview. Although the Hiring Manager will not be able to see you, they will be able to hear the added confidence in your voice and they can make a judgment based off of that. Dressing in a professional manner will focus you on the task at hand.

3. Take notes.
Be prepared to write down all key information the Hiring Manager may tell you, such as contact information, names, company information, or details about the position. Also be sure to have your own notes on your skills and experience, including a copy of your resume, cover letter, and references. Once again, your Hiring Manager cannot see you, but he/she is probably referring to the same materials and is working off of their own notes as well.

4. Write a thank you message.
Immediately after your interview, send your Hiring Manager an email thanking them for their time in interviewing you. Keep it short but sweet. Write 5 lines maximum expressing your interest in the position and appreciation for the company’s consideration or your skills and experience. Writing a quick thank you is a standard process that the Hiring Manager will respect. There is only one way this can work against you— if you misspell any words. So be sure not to include typos. Proofread your work, as with anything else in life.

Preparing for a phone interview is so important. Taking the time to do this will solidify your skills and experience, help to endorse a good reputation, and finally help you to stand out amongst all the interviewees. Happy interviewing!

Need help with editing your resume, or assistance in other life coaching areas? Search for a teacher in your area here!

Rachel M.Rachel M. tutors various subjects in Evanston, IL, as well as online. She has an extensive background teaching and tutoring others, especially in ESL, English, French, and special education. Learn more about Rachel here!



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