Phone interviews are commonly used by companies to screen applicants in order to narrow the pool of applicants prior to face-to-face interviews. It is the first step for many job seekers on their way back to employment. Therefore, it is essential not to overlook the magnitude of a phone interview; otherwise, you may end up facing a longer gap in employment.
So, given the importance of the phone interview, here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
Call to confirm the time frame for the interview
As a job seeker, having a schedule is critical to success in finding a new job. Without a proper schedule, you may be wasting time that you could have used more productively. Calling a company ahead to ask how much time you need to allot for the interview is a great way to make sure that no interviews will overlap.
If possible, ask if the interviewer can provide you with a specific time frame in which you can expect the call. If not, try at least to narrow down the time when they might call you.
Go to a place where there will be no interruptions
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but this is something most people neglect to do, especially when they don’t call ahead to ask about the time of the call. The result is that they end up in a phone interview in the middle of running errands.
You don’t want to be in an interview in which you will be interrupted. If you don’t go to a place where no one will bother you during the call, don’t expect to be invited for a face-to-face interview.
This is another one that sounds like common sense. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, since a lot of people go to an interview without any preparation, thinking that it’s enough that they have the skills and experience needed to do the job.
Keep notes in front of you
If you prepared for the interview and wrote down the key points that you want to focus on, be sure to have your notes on hand. Using your notes will enable you to talk about your strengths and relevant experiences.
How is your tone?
Most people feel anxious during an interview, and that may cause you to speak in a flat, stilted tone. Relax when talking to an interviewer, and speak in an enthusiastic tone to express your interest for the job.
Don’t fill in the gaps
A face-to-face interview lets you know what an interviewer thinks about your answers, but a phone interview doesn’t. Sometimes the silence makes people uncomfortable and leads to them saying unnecessary things. Remember that during phone interviews, the person needs to take notes, and when they don’t speak immediately, they are probably just busy writing.
What are the next steps?
At the end of the interview, you can get an inkling of what they think about you by asking what the next steps are. Try suggesting a few days when you can come in for an interview; their answer may give you hints.
In any interview, preparation is vital. Without it, your chances of success are slim at best. Don’t waste your opportunity to get hired by not preparing for the phone interview.
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