Telephone interviews can be awkward, but they don’t have to be. With a little preparation and forethought, you can wow your interviewers and land that perfect job without ever meeting them in person.
- Confirm: Who’s calling who and at what time? Be aware of time zone differences. Always double-check the who/where/when of your interview! If it will be a video call, see more under Video Conference Interview Prep. Make sure to treat it like a “real” interview – it is.
- Know the Interview Length: Confirm it and abide by it. If they go over time, that’s one thing, but make sure you respect the time frame on your end.
- Check your Service: If your call will be on a cell phone, make sure you’re somewhere with excellent service so all parties can hear each other clearly and the call won’t drop.
- Conduct a Practice Interview: Prepare yourself with a friend or family member. Test out some questions and answers and treat it like the real deal. Record it and listen back! When you listen to the recording, try to be objective and consider yourself as a hiring manager will. Would you hire you?
- Find a Quiet Space: If you have to be in a public space, choose somewhere quiet like a study room at a library over something noisy like a coffee shop. Make sure you eat beforehand (never during!) so your stomach doesn’t growl.
- Remove Distractions: Make sure everyone in the house knows when your interview is and where you will be. You don’t want your spouse, roommate, kids, or pets interrupting your interview.
- Print your Resume: You want to reference the same information as your interviewer during the call.
- Stand Up (if possible): Major muscle movement will make you more alert and energetic. The same goes for smiling – they’ll hear it in your voice! Having a mirror nearby can help remind you that people can hear your body language.
- Conclude the Interview Well: Thank the interviewer, ask for feedback, and ask about next steps.
- Thank You Note: Send a thank you within 12 hours of the interview. Just a quick email. Grab the email address from the calendar invite or ask your recruiter for it!
A bit of preparation goes a long way when interviewing over the phone. Make sure you’re representing yourself in the best, most professional way possible to impress the interviewers and score that dream job.