I like job interviews over the phone.
There, I said it.
I know some people liken it to jury duty or getting a tooth extracted, but I actually like doing job interviews over the phone because it is something I am genuinely good at.
With the exception of two phone interviews, I have aced ten out of the dozen I have ever done, and landed me face-to-face interviews. With the exception of Garmin and that other company. You know who you are.
It can be hard being a singleton and not having someone to bounce feedback off of, but the reality is companies are relying increasingly on phone interviews to get a feel for job applicants and weeding out the weirdos. And with 250 résumés for every corporate job out there, phone interviews are a crucial step in the job-hunting process.
The following are my tried-and-true tips for rocking job interviews to get you past that first hurdle and closer to your dream job:
- Research commonly asked questions. Write the answers down. That’s the best part of the interview—you can write everything down! Research 10 common phone interview questions. Write your best answers out. How are they going to know you are reading from a script?
- Do all the research you can about the company. If you don’t Google the hell out of the company you are applying to, why bother interviewing with them at all?
- If possible, do all the research you can about the interviewer. I have managed to find most of my interviewers on LinkedIn and Facebook. And I manage to drop in things I know they are passionate about into the conversation. *cue evil laughter*
- Read the job description carefully. Link all your strengths to what the job entails. What job are you applying for? Make sure you know exactly how to present yourself as the candidate for the job. Leave them wanting more.
- Practice with a friend or family member. Tape yourself if you have to. Where are you stumbling or “uh”ing? Get those glitches ironed out.
- Go to a quiet place for your phone interview. I have been in my car. In a bathroom. My bedroom. Whatever fits the bill.
- Be five or ten minutes early for the interview. If nothing else, use that time to calm yourself, envision success, and inject confidence into your performance. Even if you’re really not feeling it.
- Take deep breaths.
- I know how cheesy it sounds, but the enthusiasm you put in your voice can only play in your favor.
- Have a list of questions ready at the end of the interview. There are tons of blogs and websites with good questions. Asking about corporate culture, why the interviewer likes their job, and/or a question along the lines of, “Are there any doubts you have about my applying for this position?” have stimulated good conversation.
- Make sure you are very clear about the timeline for the next steps in the hiring process. If the HR person gives you a clear timeline, that is usually a pretty damn good sign.
- Send a thank-you letter as soon as the interview is over. I don’t care if it is 2017. Write a damn card thanking the HR person for their time. It works—believe me.
I know phone interviews can be unpleasant experiences, especially for shy people like me. But an hour prepping will make you feel a whole lot more confident. You will outshine others who are interviewing for the same position, and you will increase your odds of landing a face-to-face interview. It works for me, and please believe me when I say it will work for you!
What is the most painful part of a phone interview for you? Comment below!