By: Jessica Ekstrom, Guest Blogger
Just the word “interview” gives people the jitters. Sure, there’s a lot riding on one short conversation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t walk in there with the utmost confidence.
However, a lot of companies opt for the phone interview first. Honestly, this is a way of weeding out in-person interviews, so it’s important that you nail it so you can move forward to an office interview.
Here are some tips for phone interviews:
- Make sure you know who’s calling whom. Are you supposed to call them at the specified time or are they supposed to call you?
- Double-check the time zone for the call. I’ve missed phone meetings before because I forgot to convert the time zone. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
- Go in a quiet spot with good reception! One way to fail an interview is if the interviewer can’t hear you. It shows you’re not prepared when there’s background noise or bad reception. Use a landline when you can. Put a note on your door so your roommates don’t try to come in.
- Have your computer in front of you with Google pulled up. It’s always good to have web access prepared for a phone interview in case you need to quickly look something up. Have the company’s website pulled up in your browser to have facts in front of you. You don’t want to be distracted by your computer or look up every question, just use it for emergency purposes. Take advantage of the fact that the interviewer can’t see you.
- Turn off phone features. With smart phones today, you can do anything. So customize your phone so you can’t hear call waiting or texts coming in. They’ll just distract you.
- Have a physical copy of your resume and the job description in front of you. Therefore, if nerves strike and you forget some of your qualifications or specifics of the job, they will be right in front of you.
- Answer the phone by saying your name, “Hello this is (your name here).” Saying your name when you answer shows you’re professional and also confirms to the interviewer that they have the right person.
- Smile when you talk. Even though the interviewer can’t see you, your tone sounds more positive when you smile.
- Don’t ramble. Sometimes in phone interviews it’s hard to know when to start talking and when to stop talking because you can’t see his or her body language. Therefore, it’s easy to ramble and get off topic. Answer the question clear and concise and try to add in a closing sentence so the interviewer knows it’s the end of your answer.
- Try to get an in-person meeting. Convince the interviewer that he or she should meet with you in-person, whether it’s an office meeting or a cup of coffee. Meeting with someone face-to-face shows your interest in the position and gives them a better sense of your qualities as a person.
- Follow up immediately with an email, then a few days later with a hand-written note. Always follow up an interview with a nice note thanking them for their time and leaving your door open for further conversation. If they asked about something in the interview, like writing samples, send those along with your follow up. Always send another follow up with a hand-written letter. It shows your desire for the position because you took the time to personalize and mail a letter to them.
The most important thing is to remember how awesome you are. Be confident and believe in yourself. No one is better at being you than you!
Jess Ekstrom is the 22-year-old founder of Headbands of Hope and Headwear of Hope. Both companies give head products to kids with cancer with every purchase. Jess is also a public speaker at speaker at CAMPUSPEAK. Check out Headbands of Hope on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@headbandsofhope) and Youtube.
Featured image via studentbranding.com