While we are all spending less time talking on the phone these days, phone interviews are becoming more and more common, especially during the early stages of the hiring process. This can definitely feel tricky to navigate so we want to make sure you’re prepared for your next one with these five tips.

1. Treat a phone interview as if it’s an in-person interview.

Oftentimes, candidates will dial in underprepared because they think it is just a preliminary step. But it is important to remember that first impressions are a big deal! You don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes your chances of moving on to the next round of interviews.

The internet is your best friend at this stage! Do your research on the company and know your audience by doing a little LinkedIn stalking.

Prepare some talking points based on the job description — your future employee needs to know why you’re the perfect fit and having those answers ready is a great start.

2. Find a distraction-free zone.

In this day and age, that sounds almost impossible but it needs to be a priority. Think good reception, no pets, and no weird questions from interrupting family members. Also, remember to turn off text notifications, email alerts, and that season of The Office you’ve been watching on a loop.

3. Be ready to answer and ask questions.

Have you ever stumbled on that dang “tell me about yourself” question? You’re not alone! It’s hard to know where to start or how to finish because you’re so many things! Just treat it like an elevator pitch — keep it concise and relevant, pinpointing the experience that demonstrates why you are a good candidate.

Another common question that trips people up is: “Why you’re interested in this organization?” It’s good to get as specific as you can with this so learn the company’s mission statement in order to reiterate why it resonates with you personally and professionally.

You should also be prepared to communicate your salary expectations. If you’re unsure, websites like www.payscale.com and www.glassdoor.com can be extremely helpful.

As for questions to ask an interviewer, things like “what are the next steps in the process?” and “what does success in this role look like?” will show initiative and enthusiasm for the role.

4. Dress the part.

Seriously! We know how tempting it is to stay in your pajamas, but you can only sound as good as you feel. When you’re showered and dressed (think business casual!), we tend to feel more professional. Your answers and tone will reflect this.

5. Send a good ol’ fashioned thank you note.

This is an easy one to forget, but trust us, going that extra step is always noticed. It is such a quick way to drive home your interest and professionalism. You can do this through email or Linkedin, depending on how you’ve already been communicating.

Do you have a phone interview coming up and want individualized advice? Reach out to our career coach Jen Narayan!

jen@careerrealtalk.com

www.careerrealtalk.com

www.linkedin.com/in/jnarayan