You’ve been job hunting every day- scrolling through recommendations on Naukri.com and LinkedIn, to land that post that interests you and is the right match for your skills and experience. Suddenly your phone rings and it’s a call from a recruiter! You’re elated but also nervous about how you can tackle a phone interview.
It’s common practice for companies to commence the hiring process with a phone call. They ascertain your interest and assess if you are a match for the role. All shortlisted applicants then participate in further rounds of selection.
There is a chance that you’ll receive an unscheduled call inquiring if you are free to talk. Therefore, it’s crucial to be ready for a phone interview after you have applied. Always professionally answer phone calls because often candidates are screened at this level itself.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn handy tips and tricks to help you get recruited.
1. Begin on a strong footing
A hidden advantage is that you can’t be seen so you eliminate the stress of being dressed appropriately and maintaining the right body language. However, practicing the right conversational etiquette is still of paramount importance. Your words are the main yardstick by which you will be assessed. When you answer the phone, greet your interviewer and thank them for the call. Your tone should be lively and sincere. It could be beneficial to use a landline instead of a mobile to avoid call drops, battery woes, and poor network coverage issues. Choose a comfortable spot, that’s free of noise and other distractions. Keep a pen, paper, a checklist, a water bottle, a copy of the job description, your cover letter (if you submitted one), and your resume at hand.
2. Get ready for the call
Prepare a cheat sheet with relevant information on the company and the interviewer (if possible). List your weaknesses, strengths, and responses to standard phone interview questions. Make a checklist of how your qualifications match the job description.
Jot down questions to ask the interviewer, such as the company’s products, challenges, and vision. Your questions should aim to: a) provide you the information to determine if you want to take the job b) demonstrate you’re perfect for this role.
Review your resume and remember the dates and responsibilities of your prior jobs and be prepared to talk about skills and background.
3. Go with the flow
Listen attentively to the interviewer. Wait for him/her to finish speaking. Don’t interrupt. If you’d like the interviewer to repeat a question, politely request him/her to do so. Voice your doubts if you feel confused.
In case you feel momentarily stumped by a question, take a few moments to gather your thoughts and then reply. Don’t take too long though, so there isn’t prolonged silence from your end.
Keep your answers short, focused and simple, so that they directly answer the questions.
4. Sustain a steady tone
Several interviewees start on a strong note and then progressively lose that momentum. Therefore, it’s essential to pace yourself.
Use a friendly and energetic tone throughout the interview.
Speak clearly at an even pace.
Maintain the right posture to project your voice well.
Smile while talking especially while discussing your previous work, asking questions, and revealing your enthusiasm regarding the company.
Avoid giving responses that are overly short and simplistic which could give the impression that you’re disinterested and not the right fit for the company.
5. Don’t go into overdrive
After you’ve given a response, pause to see if you’re asked another question. You could clarify if you’ve mentioned sufficient examples and insights or if you should elaborate more.
6. End on a high note
Thank the interviewer for calling, state that you look forward to hearing from them again and meeting in person.
After half a business day has elapsed, send a short, thank you note which reiterates your interest and ability to perform the job and wish to take things further.
7. Do mock interviews
Rehearse your responses to common interview questions. Identify if you have several verbal tics, speak too slowly, quickly, or with poor enunciation.
Record a practice interview with someone so you can replay it and hear how you sound.
Then you can reduce the number of fillers like “um, uh” that you use. You will realize if you mention too many details or interrupt often.
Highlight answers which you could improve. If there isn’t anyone to help you, you could practice answering your questions. You don’t need to memorize answers but noting key points you intend to say will lessen your nervousness and make your responses natural.
All the best! Bring your ‘A’ game to that interview.