Four Tips for Your Next Phone Interview

Posted September 30, 2016

Congratulations! You've successfully attracted the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager, and now you're looking forward to a phone interview.

While acing a phone interview won't land you the job, bombing it might get you eliminated. With a bit of preparation and keeping a few things in mind, you can keep yourself in the running and even put yourself ahead of other candidates.

Do your research

Start your research by looking at the description listed in the job posting. Pay attention to the specific skills, experience and abilities they are looking for in a candidate, and figure out how your own background applies.

If you know your interviewer's name, you can also research them. Look them up on LinkedIn to see where they are from, where they went to school and their employment history. You may be able to find something the two of you have in common that could help establish a personal connection. Be careful not to go overboard and "stalk" them on Facebook.

Prepare for specific questions

There are a few specific phone interview questions you should be prepared to answer.

You should be prepared to tell an interviewer why you are interested in the job. The best ways to answer this question reference something from the job description. So if the company is looking for someone that it open to working overtime, let them know that you're excited about the possibility to make a little extra money by putting in extra work.

A phone interviewer will often ask you to talk a bit about yourself. Rather than giving them a long personal biography, you best answer gives a brief synopsis of your professional history and how specific jobs or classes would prepare you for working this job.

An interviewer may also ask you about pay, and it’s best to not give an answer at this point. If you’re pressed about it, have a salary or pay range you're willing to work with as a starting point.

Relax and take your time

When the phone rings and the number on the caller ID looks like it might be a call from your interviewer, you’ll likely feel a shot of adrenaline rush through your veins. It’s important at this point to pause and take a slow breath.

Not only should you take your time to pick up the phone, make sure you are pausing, thinking and speaking slowly throughout the interview. By being deliberate, you can cut down on missteps caused by nerves.

The follow-up

A phone interview doesn’t end the second you hang up the phone. Following up with a thoughtful email helps make a lasting good first impression and lets the interviewer know that you are truly interested in the position.

At Ambassador, we help job seekers with every part of the hiring process. If you’re looking for advice or you’re interested in the opportunities we have in store, please feel free to contact us today to work with a full-service staffing agency!