Big companies that receive dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of applications at a time must go through a screening process to identify the candidates with the most potential. In most cases, this means scheduling phone interviews for the first wave of applicants. If you’ve applied for a job like this, then you’re likely to be scheduled for a phone interview anytime now.
A company is on the lookout for the absolute strongest players to add to their team, and although they may be interviewing tons of people, it’s important that you stand out above the rest.
But, how can you do that when you’re only scheduled on the phone and you can’t sit with the recruiter in person?
Here are the top 5 tips to help answer that question.
1. Know Yourself In and Out
This doesn’t mean you need to meditate and reflect. Instead, make sure you have your resume absolutely memorized. You need to know exactly who you are and exactly what you’re looking for. It’s almost guaranteed that your recruiter will ask you why you are interested in this company in particular, and it’s important to have a good answer.
2. Speak Professionally and Be Pleasant
Remember, just because the interviewer can’t see you, doesn’t mean the setting is any less professional. They can tell over the phone whether you are taking the interview seriously or not. You also need to maintain a good attitude. Answer with your name and a quick greeting, and be happy to greet the person on the other end. During your conversation, you will be talking a lot about yourself, so be sure to highlight the positives with a pleasant tone.
3. Stay Alert and Take Notes
Your recruiter will likely be spending some time explaining more details about the job position and the company. Your task is to jot all of this down so you can find helpful bits of information. This might serve you well later. It’s not uncommon that a recruiter will refer back to something they said a few minutes earlier. Being able to remember what they said shows that you have been paying attention and you are showing much interest.
4. Be Conversational
It’s a recruiter’s job to get to know you and to ask good questions to determine whether you are a good candidate and can move forward with the rest of the interview process. Letting the interview flow like a normal conversation is a good indicator that things are going well. This is good advice both for the interviewer and the interviewee; while the interviewee will be the one doing most of the talking, the interviewer should be able to respond effectively and pose good questions for continued conversation.
5. Ask Questions
A successful phone interview will end with the question: “Do you have any more questions for me?”. This is the interviewee’s chance to sound intelligent, qualified, and passionate about the job. Asking the right questions is a good way to bump an applicant to the top of the candidacy list.