Got a pre-scheduled call with a prospective employer?
Excelling in a phone interview is the first step towards securing that dream job, so you’ll want to ensure you’re fully prepared when the time comes.
Considering the role that body language can play in shaping first impressions, a phone interview can feel like a lot less pressure than a face-to-face meeting. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of pitfalls that come with being screened for job suitability over the phone. For one, the lack of face-to-face contact means you can’t pick up on the non-verbal cues of the interviewer.
This in mind, we’ve pulled together the key tips to help you fly through a phone interview and secure a place in the next phase of the hiring process.
Memorise your elevator pitch
A phone interview is typically used by a hiring manager to discuss the opportunity with a candidate, gauge their interest and determine their suitability. It will be brief in comparison with a face-to-face interview, lasting approximately half an hour. Your goal is to communicate your value as a candidate in a concise way: often, the best approach is to start with the responsibilities in your current position before summarising the steps you have taken to get there.
Research the industry, the organisation and the role
Just as a face-to-face meeting, a phone interview demands your undivided attention. That means no Google searching when a hiring manager asks the inevitable questions on the company and your knowledge of the industry. Put aside some time prior to the call to learn more about the organisation and the role you could be playing in it – doing so will ensure you’re ready for the inevitable interest-based questions they will put to you.
Prepare evidence of your key skills and competencies
The burning question that every hiring manager wants to know is why they should hire you. Your answer should blend personal goals, professional ambition and proven track-record, so make sure you know your CV inside out.
While it’s a good idea to keep your resumé to hand during the call, always prepare evidence in advance that supports your statements and gives credibility to your achievements. It may be an impressive number; it might be a challenge you overcame. In any case, try to keep your response clear, concise and confident.
Treat it like the real thing
Remember, it may be a phone interview, but your attitude can determine the outcome of the call. Your appearance may be hidden, but your tone will tell a hiring manager everything they need to know. Your best bet is to treat a phone interview like it were face-to-face – dressing to impress and smiling throughout can make a marked difference in how you come across.
Prepare questions to determine whether it’s the right move for you
Hiring managers want to be confident in their decisions, and they expect the same from candidates. It’s a good idea to prepare two to three questions to determine whether the job and organisation are the right fit for you. Doing so can save both parties considerable time and give you a clear idea of what the role entails from an early stage.
About the author
Lucy Evans is an Executive Recruitment Consultant specialising within the Wealth Management industry. She works for Heat Recruitment, a specialist recruitment agency based in Bristol operating across the UK that specialise in Engineering, Information Technology, Insurance, Financial Services and the Legal sector. They place candidates in both permanent and contract roles.