Career Advice

4 Phone Interview Preparation Tips

min read
Vera Chan

Getting a phone interview is just one of the many ways in which you may be asked to attend one. In light of today's Coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming increasingly popular. But what about the times before social distancing? Phone interviews were already on the rise. Why? Because it can be more time-efficient, helping employers to whittle down candidates.


If you have been job searching and have received an invitation to a phone interview. That is a good thing, but there are a few ways you can stay on top of your game. And it's all about preparation.


1. Be Serious

Treat your phone interview like any other interview. This will help the hiring manager assess whether you are a stand-out candidate. So how can you ensure this? By preparing in the same way you would a face-to-face interview. This means, being well-rested and research, research, research.


Make sure you don't sound like you just woke up. Brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea. And dress the part. Even if the interviewer can't see you, it doesn't mean that you don't have to feel the part. You may not necessarily have to put your shoes on. But don't sit in your pyjamas. Then, find a table in a quiet part of your apartment and sit up straight so you stay alert.


2. Research

Familiarise yourself with the company's background and go through the standard interview questions. Such as "why are you interested in this role" etc. Also, research the interviewer or hiring manager. Know who you are talking to. Check out LinkedIn and get a sense of who they are.


Comb through the job description and make notes and questions next to points. This will help you tailor your answers for a more targeted response. Think about your qualities and experiences and how you can weave that into your answer. This creates relevance.


3. Prepare a List

During the interview, some questions may crop up. But you may also find that you have some questions even before it has started. Create a list. This will help you ask for more details and clarification when needed. Usually, this opportunity comes at the end of an interview.


Try not to focus too much on your list. Treat it more as guidance. You want to ensure that during the interview, your enthusiasm comes across. Talk with confidence in your abilities and ask questions with a goal in mind.


4. Interview Questions

Practice common interview questions. When asked why you were drawn to this role, be honest. This is a time to really tailor your answers. Make yourself sound like the best-fitting candidate. Show them that you are qualified.


Towards the end of the phone interview, the hiring manager may ask how soon you can start. This will depend on the stage of the number of interviews. If asked, be sure not to rush into saying straight away. It is much harder to ask for more time after committing to a set time in advance. So when you respond, be sure you have built-in leeway. Take into account your notice of leave with your current company and/or any relocation time.


The Bottom Line

Prepare with the above tips and you are one step closer to landing an in-person interview. Even during pandemic times, employers still prefer to put a face to the name. This means a face-to-face meeting that supersedes the video interview. That is not to say that there may not be one, but often the last step is in-person for cordiality.


Your phone interview will likely be one-on-one and can be casual or formal. In either case, if you prepare accordingly, you will be able to let your colours shine.


Check out our list of job interview do's and don'ts for more top tips.

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