You've been sending out resumes and all your hard work has paid off. You have been asked to do a phone interview. Wait... what?! A phone interview?? Employers may use phone interviews to pre-screen candidates to decide whether or not to continue on with the interview process. But just because it's a phone interview, don’t think that phone interviews are any easier then face to face interviews.
Do your homework
Just as you need to prepare for face to face interviews, phone interviews are no different. You still need to do your homework. It is important that you research the company. You should be prepared with the facts and figures so that you are not caught off-guard if certain key facts of the company are mentioned and you are asked to elaborate on it. It also gives you information so you can ask questions about the company.
Create a comfortable area
Even though you may have never had a phone interview before and you are a little unsure of what to expect, it is a good idea is to create a comfortable area where you will take the call. Make sure you still print out your resume to have on hand, maybe keeping a glass of water handy if you tend to get nervous. Always keep a piece of paper and pen handy, so that you can scribble notes or jot down questions for later.
Always remember that the interviewer on the line expects some amount of respect, it's no different than being in front of them during the interview. Make sure you are in a comfortable area where it is quiet. You cannot put the interviewer on hold and instruct your child to do their homework, or tell your dog to stop barking! This doesn't sound or look professional! Also, when you are having a conversation, it is best to take it in a closed room, so that there are no outside noises or distractions.
Make sure you listen
For an interview, this is a golden rule. You need to listen first and then answer the questions. Often, out of sheer nervousness or performance pressure, candidates started babbling things that are not even asked. In any given situation, you cannot let the interviewer know that you are nervous. So, listen patiently to what has been asked, and then stop for few seconds to gather your thought and then give your answers.
Like any other interview, you should try to understand the subtext of the conversation. It is just not a question/ answer session. The interviewer is trying to gauge your attitude, personality and assess your skills. So do not rush your answers, and try to explain everything as thorough and precise as you can. Not only is this about the interviewer asking you all the questions, this is your chance to ask them more about the company. If you have jotted down any questions or notes during the interview, this is a great time to ask any questions you may have.
In an interview, you need to show the interviewer, why you are the best choice for the job; whether it is through the telephone or a face-to-face, you need to put your best foot forward.