Phone interviews are becoming a more and more popular way to interview future interns and employees. A phone interview may sound easy, but it’s important to be as prepared as you would be for a face-to-face interview. Don’t let it be ruined by background noise or lack of preparation. If you are ready, phone interviews will be a breeze.
Here’s a quick guide on mastering a phone interview--before, during & after!
Before the call
• Research company/position- This sounds obvious but it will be helpful to know the company at hand. It is also important to note the qualifications that the company expects from you. This will come in handy later when the interviewer asks questions related to how your skills match what their company is looking for.
• Select Interview location- location is important during a phone interview. You don’t want to be in a loud space, or an area that is distracting. Choose a place that is quiet, with low traffic. Also, if you are choosing to use your cellphone, make sure that you can get reception in the area that you are in.
• Print out resume- Have your resume ready for the phone call. It will come in handy when the interview asks you to list involvement, relevant experience, etc. It will be easier to have the resume ready and available than recalling all experience through memory.
• Practice makes perfect- conduct a mock interview in which you answer typical interview questions. This gives you time to prepare yourself for certain questions as well as catch those um’s and like’s prior to the interview.
During the call
• Smile- It may sound weird because they cannot see you. But if you smile throughout your phone interview it will project a positive and eager tone to your interviewer.
• Clear and Concise- make sure you answer the interviewers questions clearly. If you don’t understand the question, make sure you ask again. Make sure you speak slowly and enunciate well when communicating. It just makes it easier for you and the interviewer.
• Acting- Act as though you are in a face-to-face interview. Don’t do things you wouldn’t do if you were face-to-face.
• Don’t text, eat, and chew gum.
• Take notes- Make sure you take notes. The interviewer may be giving you information that they expect you to know. Also if they are saying expectations of the company, you can apply it to answering a question later on in the interview.
After the call
• FOLLOW UP- This is one of the most important things. It may sound old school but send a thank you note, letter or email. It makes a difference. A thank you letter simply reiterates your interest in the internship.
This blog post was written by Alexis McKinney, a former Campus Ambassador from the Marquette University.