In-person job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but at least most people in the workforce have some experience with them. If you get a request for a phone interview, you might wonder what you need to do. Fortunately, preparing for a phone interview is not all that different from preparing for an in-person interview. Here are five steps to take.
Research the Company
Just like an in-person interview, a phone interview will go more smoothly if you’ve done your homework. Reread the job description, look through the company’s website and social media profiles, and learn all you can. Go through your resume to look for skills or experiences you can highlight to explain how you’re the perfect fit for the position.
Dress the Part
You don’t need to wear a three-piece suit, but pajamas won’t put you in the right frame of mind to land the job. Dressing for success will help your brain focus on the task at hand and can even make you feel more comfortable during the interview. Also, be sure to smile during your conversation. It changes your tone of voice as well as your mindset, making you come across as more authentic and approachable.
Prepare Yourself and Your Space
Shortly before your call, take a moment to assess the space where you will receive the call. If you will chat by cell phone, make sure your ringer volume is up. If it’s a video chat from your computer, check that your camera and microphone are working correctly. Open a blank document on your computer or set out a notebook and pen. If your mouth tends to get dry from stress, grab a glass or bottle of water. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax.
Try to take the call in a quiet space. Close your office door, turn off the TV, and ask your family to give you privacy. If you’re taking the call from the road, pull over into a parking lot to avoid being distracted by traffic. If the only space you have for the call is a coffee shop or other noisy location, let your interviewer know at the beginning of the conversation.
Close Your Browser
Remove the temptation to look up information on the company, play Solitaire, or scroll through social media during the call. Giving your interviewer your full attention will make a much better impression, and it will prevent you from sounding either rehearsed or distracted.
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