The hiring process can be very time-consuming, so many employers screen candidates with a first-round phone interview. Much shorter than an in-person interview, those conducted on the phone are a quick way to separate solid contenders from those who just won’t cut it.
Many people make the mistake of taking a phone interview too casually. While it is certainly more informal than a traditional interview, you need to take it seriously or you won’t advance to the next step. Whether you have a phone interview scheduled or just want to prepare in advance for future screenings, you’ll need to sharpen these four abilities to make a great impression.
In most every context, interrupting someone while they’re talking is viewed as a sign of disrespect. The last thing you want is to offend the interviewer, so work on remaining mum until the other person is done speaking, if this doesn’t come naturally to you. Instead of chiming in when you have a question or comment, take notes and use them as reference when it’s your turn to talk.
Just as with a traditional interview, you need to conduct background research on the company. You will be asked questions to see how much you know about the organization, and having to admit you know very little won’t make a great impression. Learn about the company’s products and services, history, company culture and financial status to gain a solid snapshot of data.
Ability to Speak Concisely
Phone interviews are designed to be much shorter than their traditional counterparts, so avoid rambling. Use the research you conducted to carefully craft responses no more than a few sentences long. Interviewers don’t have the time or patience to be stuck on the phone with a candidate who won’t stop talking. Practice responses to common questions in advance to ensure you’re prepared with a short and sweet answer.
Capacity to Sell Yourself
Landing a phone interview does not mean you’ll automatically be selected for the next round. You need to understand why you’re a great fit for both the job and the company, so you can communicate this to the interviewer. Provide relevant examples to explain why you’re the best person for the job and back them up with numbers to drive your point home.
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