Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

My office's phoneImage via Wikipedia

Many businesses use a phone interview as a pre-screening method to decide who they are going to call into the office for the actual interview.  Do not overlook it or blow it off as less important because it feels less casual.  This is an opportunity for you to make a great impression and get a little further in the door.

If you want to make it to the in-office interview then follow these tips for a great phone interview:

  • DO find a quiet room to have your phone interview in.  Background noises can be distracting for both parties and while you know this is important it easy for others to forget and start talking to you or asking you questions.  Ideally, you should be in a room of the house where there are no other people.
  • DON’T eat or drink while you on your phone interview.  While you might have a conversation in person with someone while eating or drinking and have no problem being understood, it is much more difficult to do so on the phone.  If you must, keep a glass of water handy if you get a dry mouth.
  • DO turn off the television and radio.  Your phone picks up a lot of background noise and the interviewer will not be impressed if they think you are watching your favourite soap opera while you are talking to them.
  • DON’T play on the Internet.  Believe it or not, they can hear you typing on the keyboard.
  • DO use your landline instead of a cell phone.  Landlines generally have clearer reception and are less likely to cut you off.
  • DON’T ramble.  Keep answers concise and to the point.
  • DO speak a little slower than usual and take time to pause at the end of sentences.  This will give the employer the opportunity to ask questions when needed.
  • DON’T forget to prepare.  Know the company that you are to interview with and who is interviewing you.  Review the job description so you can remember the main skills that they are looking for.  Have notes handy because this is the only time you can use them.
  • DO have your resume and cover letter handy so you can refer to them in case the interviewer brings up something you included on them.