How to Handle a Phone Call Interview
The phone call interview has become a popular step in the job interview process.
Applying for jobs online has become so easy that recruiters needed an extra step to screen candidates. Companies have to screen candidates to make sure their skills are worth a 2nd interview.
Below, we explain how to interview prep for a phone call interview to maximize your chances of receiving an in-person interview.
1. Clear your schedule
You want to make sure no one interrupts you during the phone screening. There is nothing worse than having a hiring manager ask you:
“I can hear people talking in the background. Is this not a good time? Should we reschedule this call?”
For the phone call interview, you want the hiring manager to know they are Priority #1.
This also means having a high-quality phone and signal. Do not answer other calls or texts during your phone call interview. This is considered “clearing your schedule” because you are eliminating potential interview delays.
2. Record it
There are great apps for recording phone calls. The goal of recording your phone call interview is to hear how you handled yourself. Did you like your dialogue with the hiring manager when you answered these common interview questions:
- “Tell me what interests you about this position.”
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why do you want to work for this company?”
It is very difficult to listen to your own voice. Yet, that is the point of recording your phone call interview. You have to be comfortable with your own voice and what you are saying. You have to hear how they responded to you!
3. Stand up during the phone screening
When you sit down during an interview your voice is constricted. You will sound tired, out of breath, or start to mumble. Talking while standing up has a specific sound to it that is clear and confident. You are projecting your voice and you sound like you can think on your feet. You sound full of energy and healthy!
If you would like to test this yourself, record yourself talking while sitting down and standing up. You will hear the difference immediately. Record yourself when you are smiling and frowning, too. The sound of your voice can give away just how serious you are about the job.
4. Create a cheat sheet for yourself
The one obvious benefit of a phone interview is that you cannot be seen. Keep your cover letter and resume out. Keep the company’s website open in front of you. You can also prepare questions you wish to ask at the end of the phone call interview.
5. Show your appreciation for the call
When you are done with your phone call interview, please be sure to show appreciation for the call. Remember the people you are talking to have many more candidates to call. The way to stay on someone’s mind is to do the following:
- Be polite
- Be understanding of their schedule
- Keep the responses brief and relevant to the job
And if you know the job is not for you politely stop the interview. Companies will remember the polite person who admits to being wrong for a job. You are showing integrity, respect, and awareness of your abilities. You waste no one's time by making promises you cannot keep when you finally meet face to face!