Tips for Doing Well in a Phone Interview

ImageMonroe Personnel Service, LLC & Temptime often sets up candidates for interviews as a way to introduce them to San Francisco Bay Area companies.  We have an interview package which can be found under our candidate resources on our website.  This article offers our suggestions for doing well on a phone interview.

Do your homework on the position/company/industry prior to the interview. Interviewers are bothered by candidates who know little about the company and don’t ask enough or any questions (or asking the wrong questions) during the interview.

Be prepared to adequately justify past job/career moves and the quality of your accomplishments (colligate and professional level).

Keep your materials in front of you so you can reach them quickly- a pen, a hardcopy of your resume, cover letter and job description. To sell yourself clearly, refrain from using the phrase “as it says on my resume…” Web access may also be an advantage during a phone interview in case you want more information.

Make the call from home or from a place where the environment has little noise and where you can speak at a reasonable volume without distraction.

Treat the phone interview just as you would a face-to-face interview. Be enthusiastic, responsive and display a good attitude. If you are non-attentive, withdrawn, passive or arrogant during the interview, an interviewer will assume that you would bring similar negative qualities to the job if hired. Even though it is a phone interview, be sure to smile and use positive body language- it will make your voice expressive and energetic.

On the phone, it is more difficult to understand what people are saying because you can’t see their face and mouth. Speak slowly and clearly and don’t talk too much. If you can’t hear the interviewer, drop hints that he isn’t speaking clearly or loud enough by politely asking him to repeat himself.

Respond to questions with integrity and honesty. Your answers should be based on the truth, not on what you feel the person wants to hear.

Be focused and direct in what you want; especially in how the position fits into your career path and personal goals. Ask questions about the job. Interviewers discount candidates who don’t show serious interest in the position’s duties and responsibilities or the company.

Show interest in what you can do for the company. Questions about salary and fringe benefits indicate that you are more interested in what the company can do for you. There will be adequate time to address this once the interest is established on technical and career goals.

Use common sense in your answers and demeanor.

Keep a glass of water close by in case you get thirsty.

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