Some employers prefer to conduct brief interviews via telephone with potential candidates. Phone interviews are almost always used to screen candidates, intended to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit before asking him or her to come to an in-person interview. Occasionally, phone interviews are used to interview candidates who cannot travel to an interview due to distance. Here are a few guidelines for a successful phone interview:
- Prepare for a phone interview the same way you would prepare for an in person interview – research the company, practice answers to frequently asked questions and know the job description.
- Practice with someone ahead of time to make sure that your phone line has a clear reception and that you do not make any unnecessary or distracting sounds (breathing loudly into the phone, etc.)
- Make sure you are in a quiet place for the time of your interview. If you live with roommates or family, choose a time when they will not be home or find a quiet location to conduct your interview. Turn off your TV, radio and computer speakers. If you have pets, conduct your interview in a separate room so that your interviewer does not hear barking, scratching, etc.
- Be sure to have your resume, notepad and pen with you during the interview. You can even write down answers to frequently asked questions and have them with you.
- Stand up during the interview. It will help you to project your voice better, and prevent you from getting overly comfortable. Smile while you are talking. Believe it or not, smiles can be heard in one’s tone of voice.
- It can be difficult to build a rapport with the interviewer over the phone. Focus on providing direct and clear answers that emphasize you are a good fit for the job.