Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

Tips for a successful phone interview

How to shine during your next phone interview

The sheer volume of candidates in the job market applying and vying for the same positions has resulted in a significant increase in phone interviews. Recruiters who are trying to balance the high number of prospective applicants to limited job openings share that initial phone screening interviews are a more cost effective method of screening candidates in the initial stages of any job search. Many HR departments are embracing new technology as a means to help screen and identify new hires.

Phone interviews usually last between 15-30 minutes; so being efficient and concise in your responses is critical. Planning for a phone interview needs to be as thorough as a face-to-face interview. You don’t have the option of a strong handshake and eye contact to make that ever so important first impression. During a phone interview you must let your voice be the instrument that allows you to present yourself in the most positive and professional manner.

Below are some helpful tips as you prepare for your next phone interview

  • It is always preferable to use a landline rather than a cell phone. Make sure that you silence your cellphone so as not to be distracted during your interview. If you are only able to use your cellphone make certain that your ringer is silenced and that you have disabled your call waiting function.
  • Be prepared, do your homework about the position that you are applying for, and research the company and its mission.
  • Keep your resume close at hand to reference key answers to questions that you know will be asked of you. Take advantage of the fact that you are not sitting in front of a recruiter and use a cheat sheet to jot down some key reminders.
  • Do not eat, drink or chew gum. Basic etiquette is expected
  • Speak clearly, slowly and make sure you enunciate your words. Speaking too fast makes you sound nervous. If you have a strong accent, talking quickly can make you hard to understand. Maintain a nice and easy pace. A conversational tone will convey that you are at ease and a confident applicant.
  • Do not interrupt the interview. Feel comfortable with short pauses. If you both start speaking at the same time, you be the first to stop and allow the interviewer to finish their thought.
  • Smile while on the phone. Your entire demeanor can change if you are upbeat and engaged in the conversation. This will certainly convey to the interviewer that you are excited and interested in the recruitment process.
  • Prepare a list of questions for the interview.
  • Make certain that you ask what are the next steps in the hiring process. If the recruiter does not mention a follow-up in person interview as a next step, then by all means speak up and ask. Your enthusiasm and interest will set you apart from those who wait to hear about a response. Make sure that before you end the conversation you have obtained their email address and other necessary contact information
  • Say thank you right away. Since the interview was conducted by phone its appropriate to send an email thanking the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you.

Below are some additional helpful links: