Phone screenings or interviews can be intimidating, but considering their popularity, being able to successfully navigate the conversation and set yourself apart from other candidates is essential for your job search. Many best practices for in-person interviews and virtual interviews can be also applied to phone calls, like researching the role and company, being prepared to take notes, and asking questions. But, there is phone interview-specific etiquette to keep in mind before you get the call.
Always approach phone interviews with the same level of professionalism, motivation, and preparation as you would give to an in-person interview. If you don’t like talking on the phone, practice in advance. Ask a few friends to call and ask you common interview questions until you become comfortable.
Phone Interview Tips:
- Smile when speaking to help communicate your enthusiasm and excitement about the role.
- Speak with confidence. Having a conversation by phone instead of in-person doesn’t diminish your work experience, industry knowledge, or suitability for the role. This is still an amazing opportunity to get yourself noticed.
- Be extra mindful of your tone and word choice as a phone interview will lack non-verbal cues.
- Speak at a comfortable pace and a volume that can be heard clearly. The person you’re speaking with is likely taking notes and practicing active listening, so pacing your speech is helpful.
- Don’t be afraid of silence, but communicate if you need a moment to think about the question you’ve been asked.
- If your phone has a setting to mute calls from unknown callers, turn it off beforehand.
- If you miss the call, don’t panic and call back. You can start the conversation by briefly apologizing for missing the call and saying that you’re glad to connect now.
For more tips on standing out during a phone interview, check out this video from Express Employment Professionals.