Well, my early graduation date is rolling in soon. I’m happy to say after almost 100 resume and job applications, I have gotten a handful of responses, and even phone interviews! While I have interviewed many times before, I am no interviewing pro. However, I have a bit of advice for you if you are expecting job calls soon!
- If possible, do not use your cellphone!
I cannot even tell you how many times I have had a drop call in the middle of an interview. Whether it was because I hit a dead area in my dorm, apartment, or home, it has happen more than a few times. The worst scenario is when you are called by a private number that you cannot call back (also has happen to me before, but lucked out my interviewer was understanding and called me back).
- Keep a hard copy of your resume and the applied job description handy.
You could probably also pull this up on a computer, but I like have a paper version highlighted/written on with points I definitely want to emphasize about why I am qualified or if I have specific questions about the job.
- Be prepared to answer unknown numbers.
Nothing annoys a potential employer more than contacting your phone only to be met with a voice message after several times of trying to reach out.
- Make sure you are in a quiet place & have more than 30 minutes.
Phone interviews are usually a fast screening procedure to see if a candidate is worth pursuing. They typically only last 30 minutes. However, I would allot at least 45-60 minutes of your own free time just in case. The interview could run over longer (which is a good sign that they are interested), the interviewer could call later than expected, and you will probably perform better if you do not feel rushed. Also, being in a quiet place helps you concentrate, hear the other person, and speak as loudly as you need.
- Mentally treat it like an in-person interview.
Even if this phone interview is a screen, it does not mean you shouldn’t do your homework. Research your company’s values, products, ect. Prepare you sales pitch of why you want to work with them. Practice highlighting your own accomplishments in a concise and attractive manner. Be prepare to elaborate.
- Keep a glass of water near you.
Simply just in case you get a thirsty throat from talking so much!
- Have a strong greeting ready.
Nothing says awkward like answering “hi” to a phone call and then silence. Be motivated and try to initiate and engage a flow of conversation. Start with a “Good morning, Interviewing Dude! This is Christal [insert last name here]. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day. How are you doing today?” Remember you are talking to a person, not just a robot, so don’t be afraid to talk.
- Make sure to enunciation your words and speak slowly!
This plays a bit off of #7. I love “speaking” with my hands, using gestures, and smiling while speaking. I also rely on facial expressions to gauge of how interested the interviewer is. Sadly, you cannot do this over the phone, but you can speak clearly and allow time for the interviewer to digest what you have sad. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell when to continue speaking, but I think it would be safe bet to pause 2 seconds every so often. Occasional breaks allow for the interviewer to interject or ask more questions.
- Early morning phone interviews happen.
Most of the time they occur earlier than normal interview times because its done via phone instead of on site. Do yourself a favor and wake up at least a half an hour earlier to review your research, resume, and questions. Get some coffee or tea. Eat a light breakfast while waiting for your interviewer to call up (a heavy one would not be wise if you easily get tummy-aches). Try to psych yourself up and sound lively, even if you are in your PJs instead of a suit!***Also, don’t spill your beverage all over your laptop while waiting for your 8am interview like I did. Not only does it render your computer useless as a last minute researching tool during the interview, but it’s a pain later post-interview time.
- Some more phone interview advice:
Best of luck! Hope this helps 🙂