Whether you’re brand new to the career search or attempting to switch jobs, a phone interview is an essential part of the application process. It may not seem as intimidating as an in-person interview, but it’s still an essential step towards making a lasting and impressive first impression with the company you’re hoping to join.
Throughout the various internships and jobs I’ve had in the past few years, many of them included phone interviews. Whether discussing your qualifications with a recruiter, manager, or even VP, it’s always important to prepare ahead of time to not only increase your chances of success, but to also build confidence behind your responses.
Here are six tips for preparing for a phone interview, gathered from my own personal experience and advice received from professional mentors:
Review Your Resume
Make sure you thoroughly understand your resume, which isn’t a hard task. Essentially, you’re brushing up on your past experiences and analyzing what shines as strengths and weaknesses that can apply towards the job. It also helps to have your resume with you either printed out or on the computer to use as reference during your interview.
Prepare Your Elevator Pitch
One of the most common opening questions interviewers ask is to simply, “Tell me about yourself.” After scanning through your resume, you can put together a quick and easy summary about your past experiences, qualifications, and what you’re looking for. Don’t over think this; you’re simply talking about yourself!
Look Up Commonly Asked Questions
There are plenty of resources to research potential interview questions. Most of the time phone interviews are rather basic, including “What are your strengths?” and “Why did you apply to this position?” It’s also helpful to research common questions relating to what kind of job you’re applying for (marketing, customer service, etc). It’s helpful to write notes for your answers to these questions, but you don’t want to read these answers word for word and sound rehearsed. Simply remain calm, confident, and knowledgable. I’ve saved plenty of interview prep questions on my Career Advice Pinterest Board.
Research the Company
It’s always ideal to know about the company you’re interviewing with. Brush up on its history, values, and current events/milestones they recently achieved. You can find information on the company website, LinkedIn, or a simple Google search.
Analyze the Job Application
What qualities are they looking for in a candidate? What characteristics do you have that you can easily apply towards what they want? Normally applications contain key adjectives for ideal employees, which you should have discovered when tailoring your resume
Have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewer. This is the perfect opportunity to not only learn more details about the job, but also some aspects of the company’s goals and overall culture. Remember, you need to decide if this company/job is a right fit for you as well! Pinterest has great resources for important questions, as well as simply searching through articles on Google.
Don’t stress! Interviews are nerve-wracking, but overall they just want to know more about you. If you feel confident that you’re the right fit for this position, then a little preparation should set you up for success! If you don’t hear back after, don’t worry – it just means there’s something else out there meant for you.
What are some ways you prepare for interviews? Let me know in the comments below!