Tips for a Successful Phone Interview

Phone interviews are often one of the first steps on the road to finding a job or internship. Sometimes the calls come from someone in human resources for the company you’re applying to and sometimes they come right from the person in charge of the position. Phone interviews are generally scheduled ahead of time, but can also come unexpectedly after a resume with contact information is submitted. This is why it’s important to target your job search and make sure you’re always doing your research into the companies you’re applying to.

Whether you’re talking to a recruiter, HR manager or the person to whom you would report if you were hired, phone interviews are tricky. They can’t see you so you don’t have the advantage of using body language to convey your enthusiasm or sincerity. Often times, phone interviews are only slotted for a certain amount of time, so you may have to squeeze as much information as possible into that one phone call.  In order to have the most successful phone interview, use the following tips:

1. Have your elevator pitch ready
You’re always going to be asked to “tell me a little bit about yourself” and you should be prepared to answer in a complete and concise way.

2. Write it all down
Employers are impressed when you have questions to ask them at the end of an interview. If you’re writing down the things they’re saying and questions that pop into your mind while you’re talking, you’ll have something insightful to ask at the end.

3. Stay calm and confident.
Your voice is your main tool during a phone interview. Keep a steady tone and speed when you speak and make sure the person on the other end can hear you at all times.

4. Follow up
If you don’t already have their email, make sure you ask for it at the end of the conversation. Let them know you plan to follow up and offer to send them any supplemental material such as writing samples of portfolio pieces. They’ll be impressed with your initiative.

Phone interviews are the gateway to in-person interviews so it’s important to be your best. Do you have any more tips or tricks you use during these conversations? We’d love to hear from you.

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