Conducting on-site job interviews requires a lot of time and money, so many employers use a phone screening for the first round. This is a quick way to narrow a long list of candidates down into a smaller group of those most qualified for the position.
Due to the seemingly relaxed nature of the interview, many candidates make the mistake of considering it a mere formality, when it’s anything but that. If you’ve been invited to participate in a phone screening, take it as seriously as an on-site interview.
7 Tips to Ace a Phone Interview
Schedule a Time to Chat
Most people can’t do a great phone interview off the cuff. Typically, the company will arrange a time in advance, but if not, don’t feel like you have to do it on the spot. Let the call go to voicemail — make sure you have a professional-sounding message — or answer and simply say this isn’t a good time to talk, but suggest a time later that day or the next that works for you.
Choose a Quiet Spot
A phone interview requires your full concentration, so find a private spot where you can talk uninterrupted. Having to excuse yourself to deal with a disruption is unprofessional and will likely cause the interviewer to question your interest in the position.
Make Sure Your Connection is Reliable
A spotty cell connection can ruin an otherwise amazing phone interview. If possible, conduct your interview on a landline. When one isn’t readily available, find a spot with strong reception. At the beginning of the call, get the interviewer’s phone number, just in case you’re disconnected.
Dress the Part
It might sound ridiculous to dress up for a phone interview, but doing so will boost your confidence. If you look professional, you’ll feel professional and that will radiate through your responses.
Just as you would for a traditional interview, learn as much as possible about the company, research the interviewer and practice responses to questions you’ll likely be asked. Phone screenings offer the added benefit of being able to reference notes, so take advantage of this opportunity — just don’t read your responses word for word.
Find Out the Next Steps
Before ending the call, ask the interviewer what’s next in the process. This shows your continued interest in the job and will let you know when you’ll find out if you’ve been selected to advance to the next stage.
Send a Thank-You Note
You wouldn’t think about not sending a thank-you note after an in-person interview, and the same rules apply to a phone screening. Email a note to the interviewer within 24 hours to thank them for taking the time to speak with you and reiterate your fit for the position.
If you’re in the market for a new job, Malone Staffing Solutions is here to assist. Contact us today to connect with top employers looking to fill a variety of light industrial roles, from distribution workers in Henderson, KY to automotive professionals in Nashville, TN.