How to Rock Your Phone Interview
Spring 2015 Intern Queen interns here! Interning for the Intern Queen has given us a lot of experience with phone interviews, on both sides of the interview process. A lot of companies, not just for virtual positions, are conducting their first round of interviews on the phone. Sometimes students feel that phone interviews are the “easy way out”- you don’t have to dress up, you can have your information right in front of you, and there seems to be less outside pressure. While you may not be sitting face-to-face with your interviewer, phone interviews are just as important and should be taken just as seriously! After conducting the first round interviews for the Intern Queen summer interns, here are some of our tips for rocking your phone interview:
1.Give yourself some time to prepare. Prepare for your phone interview as if you were preparing for a traditional interview - the interviewer can tell if you’re not ready even though they cannot see you! If your interview is in the morning, get up at least an hour early to allow yourself time to fully awaken. Research the company ahead of time so that you can ask great questions at the end. Even though you may have access to your computer, it is difficult to multitask researching the company, paying attention to the questions, and providing well thought out answers. Plus, the interviewer can hear typing and clicking in the background!
2. Set-Up Before your interview, set up your space! Make sure you are in a quiet place with no background noise, have all of your electronic devices charged, and make sure you have a great Internet connection. Also have your resume and cover letter in front of you for reference when you answer questions. Again, it’s all about being prepared and professional!
3. Smile! This is one of the biggest tips we see regarding phone interviews and we now know why! Although it seems silly to smile while you speak, it is something that the interviewer can really hear. When you smile, it naturally forces you to sound cheerier, clearer, and more professional. The interviewer’s only way to read your personality is through your tone and the way you speak, so if you sound tired or mumble, it leaves a bad impression.
4.Be Conscious About Your Phone Etiquette! Because you are not in a typical interview environment, it is easy to forget that you are on an interview! You may forget that you are speaking to an interviewer rather than the people you would normally speak to on the phone- a friend, your parents, your significant other, etc. So make sure you are aware of what you say during your phone interview and how you say it! Don’t mumble, don’t overuse filler-words such as “uhm,” “uh,” or “like,” and don’t curse (even if it is just a slip)! You may have to remind yourself that although you are not physically in a professional setting, you still have to conduct yourself professionally.
5 Ask Great Questions! This is where all of your research comes into play. Asking great questions during a phone interview is one way to leaving a lasting impression on the interviewer! Remember, during a phone interview, you cannot rely on your physical presence to stand out. Asking a lot of well-researched questions proves to the interviewer that you are well versed in the company and the position you are interviewing for!
6. Send a follow-up email. Follow-up emails are a given for any interview! Especially for phone interviews, where it can be more difficult to leave a lasting impression, sending a follow-up “thank you” email can really help you stand out!
Bottom line- treat your phone interviews like you would treat an in-person interview. It can be harder to stand out in a phone interview because you aren’t making a physical impression, so be sure to follow our tips to make the interviewer wish they could meet you!