6 Tips for Acing a Phone Interview - Pioneer Pacific College

6 Tips for Acing a Phone Interview

23 January 2018 By Lucas

If you find yourself scheduling a phone interview for a new job, congrats! Your qualifications and application materials stood out from the crowd, and now you have the opportunity to talk with a recruiter or hiring manager to get to the next round. But, “Why over phone?”, you ask.

Phone interviews have increased in popularity as an effective and efficient way to screen potential hires before asking a select group of applicants to come in for an in-person interview. Many companies will essentially skip the traditional first round of in-person interviews in favor of phone interviews to help save time and resources. It also allows for non-local applicants to have a chance at the position.

While ultimately a stepping point in the interview process, phone interviews are nothing to balk at. They require a lot of preparation and have a unique set of challenges. Talking on the phone is simply not as commonplace in the age of messaging and social media, and conveying your best self over the phone is difficult. All that being said, there are a handful of phone interview tips we’ve gathered from our Career Services Department to help you ace your upcoming phone interview.

  1. Do your research. It’s always a good idea to know as much as possible about a company before an interview, but especially for a phone interview. You’re likely to get more pointed questions, and you will want to tailor your answers as much as possible.
  2. Be prepared. One of the benefits of a phone interview is your freedom to have as much information in front of you as you’d like. We recommend having a copy of your resume, cover letter, and job description handy. Additionally, write out some answers to common interview questions and list some industry related keywords or phrases ready for reference.
  3. Look and feel the part. You’re maybe thinking, “But this interview is over the phone?” While you are correct, an essential part of acing a phone interview is playing the mental game. This means starting your day as if you were heading to an in-person interview, which includes wearing professional clothing and warming up your voice by reviewing your prepared documents from above, aloud. And last but not least, smile! Engaging your face and body as if you were in the room with your interviewer can make all the difference in portraying confidence.
  4. Get in the zone. The most important point of this particular phone interview tip is to make sure your surroundings are quiet and uninterrupted. Whether that means hunkering down at the dining room table or getting out of the house and taking the call in your car. We recommend getting off the couch and avoiding public spaces like coffee shops. If you are having trouble finding a space, let us know at Career Services and we can help!
  5. Slow down. An often forgotten phone interview tip is that of pacing. It’s very easy to speed up your answers, stumbling over your words and ultimately giving off a poor first impression. Slow down! What may seem like forever is only a few seconds and will sound completely natural and relaxed on the other end of the line. Allow some space before and after you speak and give the interviewer space to respond. 
  6. Follow up. Since there’s no handshake or exchange of cards at the end of a phone interview, it’s imperative that you are gracious with your interviewer, thanking them for their time and asking about any follow-up expectations. Then, while the interview is fresh, write down important notes and send a thank-you email.

You’ve done the hard work of earning your Pioneer Pacific College diploma or degree and preparing for the next step. Now it’s time to get out there, starting with acing your first phone interview! With some solid preparation and these phone interview tips, you will be able to demonstrate your abilities and qualifications to potential employers like a pro. And, of course, when you need some guidance or assistance in your job search, we’re here to help!

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