Probably one of the biggest challenges that job searchers face is handling phone interview questions. In my experience, most career professionals take phone interviews for granted. They schedule them right alongside any other scheduled work or conference call for the day. This is a big mistake. You should put just as much preparation time into a phone interview as you would a face to face job interview. Some candidates think that phone interviews are not really all that important. If they were serious then they would just bring me in.
They are probably phone screening 100′s of applicants anyway. It is just a phone call with HR and they are not the real hiring authority anyways. These are all of the negative statements that many career professionals think in regards to phone interviews. Yet, these phone interviews are the gateway to a new, better opportunity and we need to treat it like that.
Here are some tips for handling phone interview questions. Follow these suggestions and you will be well on your way to more face to face interviews and offers. Prepare ahead of time and print out your findings. What is great about a phone Interview is that you can have notes right in front of you. The person on the other line cannot see you. This means that you are able to have all the info you need at your fingertips. Things you will want to have in front of you include: your resume, the job description, and company Information that you have printed off the website. If you can find an org chart, print it off. If the company financials are available, print that off too.
Find a quiet place where you can talk. Too many job searchers take risks with phone interviews. They either talk at their desk at their current employer or find an empty conference room. Both of these are not a good option because the last thing you want is an interruption on your end. Interruptions send the wrong message to the potential employer. Use a landline phone. I don’t care how good of cell phone reception you get; do not use a mobile phone for an interview. Between a bad signal, wind blowing outside, or sounding hollow because you are in a stairwell, they all give up a bad impression of you.
The best scenario is around the lunch hour where you can go home and talk to them openly. Stand when you are doing the phone interview. The best way to take phone interview questions is to stand. Most of the time we do not realize how much energy we lose by talking while sitting down. You do not want to give off the vibe that you are a low energy person. Remember, they have not met you yet and they are judging you by your voice alone. Just by standing up during the call you can keep your energy level up. Don’t forget to consult with your interview coach on these details for further advice.