After weeks of submitting resumes and cover letters into what feels like an endless black hole, you hear your phone ring. Your heart flutters for a moment, could it be? Is there life on the other end of these websites? Did someone actually read your resume AND decide you were worthy of a phone call? Yup! You nailed it. Next step: The Phone Interview.
Phone interviews are nothing to be afraid of, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is your first opportunity to really WOW the recruiter and give an awesome first impression. Here are a few tips to make sure the response is, “Wow!” instead of, “Woahhhhh…”
1. Ditch the Ringback. You should probably change this the moment you start applying for jobs, just to be safe. No one needs to know you want all of your friends to rock out to Pitbull while they wait for you to answer. Fact: Everyone starts dancing the moment they hear Pitbull, but you will still be judged and called a tool.
2. Prepare like you would for an in person interview. For some reason, people just don’t do their homework for phone interviews. It’s still an interview. Research the company. Research your interviewer. Take notes, and take it seriously!
3. Know your resume. After all, your resume is what got you to this point in the first place! Review your experience so you know your history inside and out. Do you have gaps in employment? Make sure you can explain why. This is your opportunity to share your story, your way.
4. Assume they stalked you. Facebook, youtube, dating websites, high school track records… who knows what they are going to come across on Google. Search yourself and know what’s out there, just incase anything comes up.
5. Find a quiet location. Don’t let the neighbors barking dog or the roar of the subway distract you. Find somewhere quiet, where you feel comfortable, and where you have relative control over the noise. Oh, and good service! Unless you live in the stone ages and still have a landline, which would actually be helpful in this situation, make sure your trusty cell will be just that.
6. Answer the phone politely. A simple, “Good morning/afternoon, this is ________,” will start you off on the right foot.
7. Speak with personality. They can’t see you, or your face, or your hands, or your super-cool outfit, so remember to share your personality through your voice. Sound excited, use inflection. You don’t have to be over-the-top bubbly, but if you are monotone monster, you might put the recruiter to sleep.
8. Be confident. The best part about phone interviews – no one can see you! If your hands are shaking and your pits are sweating, it’s truly no big deal. Use this time to establish confidence and calm your nerves before the added anxiety of meeting in the flesh.
Need extra practice?
Record your voice on your computer and play it back to yourself until you’re pleased with how you sound. You got this!