When you apply for jobs, you might find that you’ll be invited for a phone interview rather than a face-to-face interview.
This can be the case for a number of reasons: maybe you’d be relocating for the role so travelling to the office for an interview isn’t feasible, or perhaps the company has received a high number of applications and are using this as an opportunity to whittle down the candidates.
Either way, phone interviews are just as important as normal interviews and should be prepared for in the same way.
With this in mind, here are five ways you can prepare for your telephone job interview.
1) Find The Right Location
Before your interview, it’s a good idea to find the perfect location for you to have the conversation.
The ideal location would be at home or in a private room, but wherever you choose, make sure you look for somewhere with good signal, decent acoustics (no echoing) and somewhere you feel comfortable in with ample space to sit down and lay out your notes.
It’s also important to pick a time when there’s no external noise to interrupt you. For example, you don’t want to be on the phone to a prospective employer when your flatmates or partner come home from work and put the TV on loud – it won’t give off a great impression!
Top Tip: Have a couple of practice conversations in your chosen location to make sure it’s perfect before your interview date.
2) Prepare Question Answers
The beauty of a phone interview is that the person at the other end of the line can’t see what you’re doing, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make some notes to help you answer those difficult interview questions.
There are a few classic questions that crop up in any interview, from “What are your biggest strengths?” to “Why do you want to work here?”, so take the time to prepare answers to these and others and make some notes that you can refer to during the interview.
Now, don’t make the mistakes of reading the answer word-for-word from a sheet of paper, as that will be extremely obvious, but just jot down a couple of bullet points for each answer to jog your memory.
Top Tip: Also write down any questions you’d like to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview to avoid your mind going blank.
3) Print Off Your CV/Cover Letter/Portfolio
During an interview, it’s understandable to have a bit of a mind-blank – especially when you’re nervous and put on the spot.
This is why it’s really important to have copies of your CV, cover letter and portfolio (if you have one) to hand to refer to if you’re asked to discuss anything on there.
Having them to hand will avoid you stumbling over your words or forgetting key things you included on your CV – which won’t come across as very professional.
Top Tip: Keep a pen and paper close by to make any notes throughout the interview.
4) Review The Job Description
Another good thing to do before the phone interview is to go over the job description for the position you’re applying for to make sure you’re clued up on what the company is expecting from you.
Make a note of the key skills and qualifications the employer is looking for so you can drop these into the conversation.
5) Research The Company
One thing that the employer will be looking for in an interview is how much you know about the business and if you’ve done your homework.
Take a look at their website and make notes of key facts about the company, their history and ethos to refer to in the interview.
Also, make sure you have a look at news websites or industry publications to see if the business has mentioned in the news, as this shows you’ve gone above and beyond to find out about the company.
So there we go, a few tips on how to prepare for a phone job interview! Do you agree with the tips or have any of your own?
Let me know in the comments below!
Read more: How to Nail Your (Surprise!) Phone Interview